Communications Minister pledges to reduce exit fees

Moshe Kahlon reiterates importance of removing obstacles to real fee competition in cellular market and facilitate entry of a new operator.

Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon on Wednesday reiterated the importance of removing the obstacles to real fee competition in the cellular market and facilitate the entry of a new operator.
“There is no real competition in the cellular market. The cellular companies make handsome profits, and it seems there is room for the entry of more operators into the sector,” Kahlon told the CFO Forum on Wednesday. “Our goal is that the new mobile operator will pull consumer prices down, at which point real competition will begin. It’s not an imaginary goal.”
Kahlon reviewed the various barriers that he intends to remove from the mobile market as part of his reforms, in order to facilitate the entry of a new operator.
“The first barrier is the deployment of a nationwide infrastructure of access facilities and antennas. Another barrier is the high exit fees that the mobile operators charge customers,” siad Kahlon. “At the end of the year, we will drastically reduce all the fines. We are also dealing with another barrier, by reducing connectivity fees. The leg of a call from one company to another is monopolistic, and therefore under our supervision.
Prices will be lowered to cost in January 2011.”
Participants at the meeting included, Channel 2 franchisee Keshet Broadcasting CFO Sigal Albocher, Pelephone Communications Ltd. CFO Larry Ackerman, Motorola Israel CFO Lior Halman, Cellcom Israel Ltd. CFO Yaacov Heen, Channel 2 franchisee Reshet Television CFO Yaron Levy, Ma’ariv Holdings Ltd. chairman Zaki Rakib, and CFO Forum chairwoman Noga Kainan.