OECD says Israel is 4th priciest place for cellphone calls

Israelis pay approximately $100 for a monthly package – five times more than UK customers pay for a similar one.

By GAD PEREZ/GLOBES
June 27, 2011 23:11
2 minute read.
Cell phone user [illustrative]

man speaking on cell phone cellular 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Fred Prouse)

 
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It’s lucky that the latest report published by the OECD on communications prices in its member countries is updated only through August 2010.

This way, Minister of Communications Moshe Kahlon can explain why Israel was ranked at such an unflattering spot in the OECD report, by the fact that the reforms he implemented in Israel’s communications sector have not yet had an impact on the market, and that we will only be able to feel their effect next year.

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According to the OECD report, which sheds light on prices in the cellular, internet, telephony and television sectors, the situation in Israel is not encouraging, excluding fixed-line telephony.

Expenditure on mobile telephony is the largest and the most important item in the media basket, and according to the report, Israel charges the fourth highest prices for cell calls in the world, after the Czech Republic, Portugal and Holland. The price in Israel for a package including 300 minutes is about $103, whereas in the UK it is less than $20. The most expensive country is the Czech Republic, where the price for a package of 300 minutes is $140 (adjusted for purchase power).

However, it appears that the data that the OECD published are not complete. The package in question considers calls only, whereas average revenue per user in Israel is actually much lower: about NIS 140 a month. Therefore, the packages need to be broken down into categories in order to compare apples to apples, as a way to discover how much we are really paying in comparison with the rest of the world.

Apparently it is less than the OECD depicts.

The important question is whether, following the lowering of connectivity rates at the beginning of the year, and exit fees being cancelled, Israelis will see a decrease in prices. The answer is apparently yes, but since no research has been done on the subject, it is still hard to know which was the more important factor in the downward trend in prices – the lowering of connectivity rates, or the cancellation of exit fees. This, of course, is of little interest to a user public increasingly irritated by exorbitant cellular telephony rates.

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