|Traded as||(TASE: CEL|
|Products||GSM, GPRS, UMTS, HSDPA, SMS, MMS|
|Owner(s)||Discount Investment Corporation|
Cellcom (TASE: CEL, NYSE: CEL)(Hebrew: סלקום) is Israel's 3rd largest telecommunications company. Founded in 1994, most of the company's business is centered around wireless service. Cellcom was the first to market mobile phones with Hebrew language menus.
Cellcom's entry into the Israeli market caused a revolution in wireless services in the country as it offered service at rates which were a fraction of those charged by Pelephone, which until Cellcom's launch held a monopoly on cellular services in Israel. Its launch was not without problems though and during 1995, Cellcom subscribers experienced widespread service disruptions of unknown origin. After an intensive investigation the cause was finally traced to a software bug in Motorola's MicroTAC Alpha handsets – which were ubiquitous on its network at the time. Nevertheless, its attractive rates led to a huge demand for the company's services and within a few years it had accumulated over a million subscribers.
As of the end of the third quarter of 2012, it had around 3.4 million customers, the largest of the Israeli mobile providers in terms of customer base size. The vast majority of active voice clients are on its GSM network while data usage is spread across networks of different technologies.
The company initially operated a TDMA network nationwide in the 850 MHz band but after winning tenders for GSM-1800 frequencies it began offering GSM services.
Cellcom eventually sought to replace the 850 MHz TDMA frequencies it owns with standard 900 MHz GSM frequencies but Pelephone and Partner (Orange) petitioned the Ministry of Communications to deny this for technical reasons. This put Cellcom at a disadvantage since though most of its users had converted to GSM, they were not able to make use of the lower frequency's better in-building penetration and greater cell reach.
With its entry into 3G wireless services, Cellcom demonstrated the first mobile video call in Israel. Since the beginning of 2006, Cellcom has been deploying a 3G UMTS-2100 network nationwide which by the end of 2007 covered than 87% of the population. Cellcom was the first in Israel to launch an HSDPA network (also called "Generation 3.5") nationwide. In 2011, Cellcom began to deploy UMTS services in the 850 MHz band, employing unused capacity in that frequency range since it had very few TDMA customers remaining. The Israeli Ministry of Communications has approved Cellcom's plan to shut down the TDMA-850 network on 31 December 2011.
In mid-2006, Cellcom received a license to offer terrestrial domestic telephony services using the national prefix 073-2. The service is mainly aimed at large businesses. The license allows for advanced wired telephony services, Internet services and high speed data transmission over its fiber optic network which is spread out throughout the country.
In 2009 Cellcom launched a controversial ad campaign showing Israel Defense Forces soldiers playing football (soccer) across the Israeli West Bank barrier. Among others Ahmad Tibi, an Arab-Israeli member of the Knesset, called on Cellcom to withdraw the commercial.
On December 1, 2010, Cellcom faced a major service outage across the country. Cellcom reported the network outage to impact the Q4 results. The company decided to refund customers with one week's worth of calls and messages although the customers never actually received their refund says Daniel Martinez of the Jerusalem Post.
See also 
- "Cellcom Falls After Naming Stern to Replace Shapira as CEO". Bloomberg.
- "Dun's 100 2012 - Largest Service & Trade Companies - by Operating Revenue". Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- Fisher, Lawrence M. (14 August 1995). "Israelis and Others Feel the Sting of a Cellular Phone Bug". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
- Seth Freedman, The Guardian, 20 July 2009, Cellcom's cynical commercial
- Haaretz, 15 July 2009, Ahmed Tibi joins opposition to Cellcom commercial
- Lubell, Maayan (2 Dec 2010). "UPDATE 1-Cellcom says network outage to impact Q4 results". Reuters. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- Friedman, Ron (3 Dec 2010). "Mobile meltdown: Cellcom says sorry to customers". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 20 August 2011.