The Communications Ministry announced Wednesday it would lower the cellular connectivity charge by over 80 percent, from 25 to 4.14 agorot per minute. The decision is to come into force in 30 days, after a brief hearings procedure. The rate per SMS is to go down to 0.19 agorot.
The cellular companies are expected to oppose the move vigorously, as they have past rate reductions.
Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon said the connectivity charge reduction would impact the public in two ways: immediately, those using land-lines to call cell phones will enjoy a significant reduction in their phone bills; while, in the longer term, the move lowers barriers to entry into the cellular carrier market, encouraging competition and lowering prices.