Cellcom Israel Ltd., controlled by Nochi Dankner, won a large Defense Ministry tender to supply mobile services for the IDF, with the lowest offer. The company will provide mobile services for three years, with an option to extend by seven more years.
Cellcom beat its mobile carrier rivals Pelephone Communications Ltd. and Orange franchisee Partner Communications Ltd. The deal is one of the largest mobile tenders in Israel, and is apparently the second largest tender, after the Finance Ministry tender for government employees.
The tender could reach 70,000-80,000 subscribers among IDF servicemen and women, not including family members who might subsequently join. Cellcom won the tender with a price of NIS 0.051 per minute for calls - an unprecedented rate that indicates the strength of competition in the market, and is very unlikely to generate a profit. Cellcom also offered SMS at NIS 0.03 per message, and a NIS 14 monthly user fee.
The Defense Ministry said the tender will slash the cost of mobile plans for IDF officers and troops, and save the IDF millions of shekels a year. The prices in the tender are the lowest ever in Israel's mobile market.