|Traded as||TASE: BEZQ|
|Headquarters||Azrieli Center, Tel Aviv, Israel|
|Key people||Stella Handler, (CEO)|
|Products||Fixed line, Mobile telephony, Internet, Cable television|
|Revenue||US$ 2.7 billion (2012)|
|Net income||US$ 797.4 million (2012)|
Bezeq (Hebrew: בֶּזֶק) is the largest telecommunications group in Israel. Bezeq and its subsidiaries offer a range of telecom services, including fixed-line, mobile, high-speed Internet, transmission, and pay TV (via Yes).
Bezeq was founded in 1984 as a government-owned corporation, taking over the prevision of telephony services in Israel, which were previously run directly by the Ministry of Communications. The drive for creating the company was the highly bureaucratic and inefficient nature of the government ran service, requiring customers to wait several year until they got a phone line installed.
In the late 1980's Anat Hoffman founded a group, Bezeq-Afflicted Clients Association, to protect the interests of Bezeq customers. A major complaint was that Bezeq refused to offer customers itemized bills, so they had no assurance they were paying for services they actually received. National hearings were held where customers had the opportunity to share their grievances against Bezeq. Hoffman notes that of 46 cases handled through small claims court, the consumers prevailed against Bezeq in 43. Within two years of the well publicized campaign for itemized bills, they were finally offered to consumers.
In January 2012, Bezeq International Optical System was completed, a submarine telecommunication cable linking Tel Aviv and Bari in Italy. The system spans 2,300 km of cable, and extended terrestrially from Bari through Interoute's network to major European cities.
In April 2012, Bezeq acquired full ownership of Walla! Communications, Israel's leading Internet portal, which has more than 2.5 Million monthly unique users. Bezeq operates the B144 directory enquiries and yellow pages brand.
Loss of monopoly status
In 1997, two new competitors were introduced in international calling services (Barak and Golden Lines), and Bezeq was obliged to establish a new subsidiarity to compete with them named Bezeq International.
Until the mid-first decade of the 21st century when it was owned by the Israeli government, Bezeq had a monopoly on landline telephony and Internet access infrastructure (ADSL VDSL2). Though still the most dominant provider of telephone services, it has had competition from the sole cable provider in the country (since September 2006), Hot, which offers a cables based telephone and internet access services as of 2005, and with 012 Smile and more recently 013 netvision and Orange.
On May 9, 2005, Bezeq was officially privatized when 30% of its shares were sold by the state to the Apax-Saban-Arkin investment group for $972 million. The cellular communications provider Pelephone is a fully owned subsidiary of Bezeq. Bezeq is also the largest shareholder in D.B.S. Satellite Services (1998) Ltd., known by its trademark name, Yes, the satellite (DBS) television provider in Israel.
The company’s fixed-line domestic communications segment offers domestic carrier services, including basic telephony, Internet infrastructure and access services, and transmission and data communications services. This segment also provides infrastructure, transmission, billing, leasing space, and related services for other communications operators, operates and maintains radio transmitters, caries out set-up and operation works of networks or sub-networks for various customers and offers virtual private networks, data center, and search engine services.
As of December 2012 Bezeq has:
- 2.27 million fixed-line customers
- 2.80 million mobile customers
- 1.17 million high-speed broadband customers
- 578,000 pay TV customers
- Pelephone Communications Ltd. (100%): Israel's first cellular phone operator
- Bezeq International Ltd. (100%): Provides customers with solutions in international telecom, data hosting, data communication, and information security solutions.
- Yes (49.8%): Yes is Israel's only provider of multi-channel television broadcasts via satellite to subscribers, and was the first company to offer digital broadcasts and interactive television services.
- Bezeq On-Line Ltd. (100%): Provides outsourcing and call-center services.
- Walla! Communications(100%): Israel's leading Internet portal.
- Bezeq International Optical System(100%): a submarine telecommunication cable linking Tel Aviv and Bari, Italy
- "Ahren, Raphael: A gadfly on the Wall (Sept 4, 2013)"http://www.timesofisrael.com/a-gadfly-on-the-wall/
- Interoute and Bezeq International create a new Internet super highway between Europe and Israel
- "500,000 subscribers for Bezeq's ADSL service". Bezeq. 2004-04-20.
- Wrobel, Sharon (12 February 2010). "012.Smile closes Bezeq deal". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 15 November 2011. "As the largest telecommunication operator in Israel, Bezeq provides wired and wireless telephone and other communications services to consumer and business subscribers throughout Israel."
- Horesh, Hadar. "Apax-Saban-Arkin group big winners of Bezeq tender - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News". Haaretz.com. Retrieved 2011-12-09.
- "B Communications Closes Acquisition Of Controlling Interest In Bezeq". RTTNews. 14 April 2010. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- Bezeq Q4 & FY 2012 Earnings Presentation
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