JERUSALEM, June 17 Cellcom, Israel's
largest mobile phone operator, said on Tuesday it will offer
television services over the Internet as it seeks to look for
new sources of revenue amid heavy competition in the cell phone
"Entering a new and penetrated market will require
investment and additional operating expenses in order to yield
future revenues," Nir Sztern, Cellcom's chief executive, said
The move comes as Israel's Communications Ministry has
encouraged Cellcom and its chief rival, Partner
Communications, to enter the so-called Over the Top TV
market to provide competition and lower costs to consumers.
Currently, Israel has two providers of multi-channel TV -
cable company HOT and YES, the digital satellite unit of Bezeq
Sztern said Cellcom will offer an attractive alternative to
HOT and YES.
"The company's OTT TV services are synergetic and
complementary to the company's core business and shall help in
retention of customers," he said.
A month ago, Cellcom reported a 70 percent jump in
first-quarter profit, although its subscriber base fell 3.7
percent over the prior year to 3.049 million.
Israel's mobile phone industry was shaken up in 2012 with
the entry of six new operators, sparking a price war that led to
steep drops in subscribers, revenue and profit at Cellcom,
Partner and Bezeq unit Pelephone.
Communications Minister Gilad Erdan welcomed Cellcom's
decision to enter the OTT TV field, saying it will promote
competition in the sector and "facilitate the reduction of the
high price currently paid by the Israeli consumer for television
Packages offered by YES and HOT are above $60 a month.
Partner has said it also plans to launch television
(Reporting by Steven Scheer)