Internet in Israel

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Broadband Internet in Israel has been available since the late 1990s in theory, but it only became practical to most customers in 2001. By 2008, Israel has become one of the few countries with developed broadband capabilities across two types of infrastructure, reaching over 95 percent of the population.[1] Actual broadband market penetration stands at 77 percent, ranked 7th in the world.[2] in 2010, Israel was ranked 26th in The Economist's Digital Economy Rankings.[3]

Internet in Israel is provided through the phone and cable infrastructures, by Bezeq and Hot respectively. Bezeq provides dial-up and ADSL services, while HOT provides cable Internet services. Every ADSL or cable Internet user has to pay separately to the infrastructure provider and to the ISP, due to competition laws.


In November 1990, the undersea cable EMOS-1, connecting Israel with Turkey, Greece and Italy, was deployed. This was the first Israeli-built undersea cable, and was augmented by CIOS in April 1994.[4] Since then, other cables have been laid which have provided large capacity links between Israel and abroad.

Until 1997, most domestic Internet traffic was routed either directly between ISPs, or through the Israeli universities' academic network operated by the IUCC. Since 1997, the Israel Internet Association has been responsible for operating the Israeli Internet Exchange (IIX) through which much of the domestic Internet traffic is routed.

Broadband Internet has been available in Israel via ADSL since the late 1990s in theory, but it only became practical to an average residential customer in 2001.[citation needed] This was enabled by a significant upgrade to the Internet infrastructure in 1999, at a cost of over a billion shekels.[1] Since then prices have dropped considerably.

Also in 2001, the Communications Law of 1982 was amended to allow the provision of broadband Internet through the cable infrastructure.[5]

Connection specifications[edit]

The typical connection speed remained at 1.5 Mbit/s (with 150 kbit/s upstream) for the bulk of 2005 and 2006, and rose to 2.5 Mbit/s by 2008. Connections of over 2 Mbit/s (with a 250 kbit/s upload speed) were introduced in the summer of 2005 to the mainstream.[citation needed] As of September 2010, 16 percent of Internet subscribers received speeds of 10 Mbit/s or higher.[6] As of 2013, 15 Mbit/s/800 kbit/s over ADSL2+ and VDSL 100 Mbit/s/3 Mbit/s. Maximum speeds via the cable modem provider's (Hot) connection are 200 Mbit/s down and 5 Mbit/s up over DOCSIS 3.0, a service started on October 21, 2009.[7] All ADSL services require and use the PPPoE protocol, and cable modem connections generally operate over DHCP. For speed under 30Mbit/sec, a cable user can select to use VPNs using the PPTP/L2TP protocol.

Bezeq, the major local exchange carrier, began rolling out their Next Generation Network (NGN) in 2009 with theoretical speeds up to 100 Mbit/s by using a combination of fiber to the curb (FTTC) and ADSL2+/VDSL/VDSL2 technologies. Initial product offerings of their NGN were 10 Mbit/s and 15 Mbit/s download and 800 kbit/s upload speeds over ADSL2+,[8][9] with a best effort package of up to 100 Mbit/s available starting October 2010. According to Bezeq, NGN is slated to reach 90 percent of the households in Israel by late 2011 and offerings of 100 Mbit/s will be provided in 2012.[9][10] Its main cable competitor, HOT, using DOCSIS 3.0 infrastructure which allow higher bandwidths.

The three main mobile phone companies, Pelephone, Partner (Orange), and Cellcom, offer HSPDA service, typically 1.8 Mbit/s, over their respective 3G networks as well.[citation needed] Partner was the first provider to operate a consumer 4G (LTE) network.[11]

ISP interconnectivity[edit]

Israel is connected to the outside world by three undersea cables: MedNautilus, owned by Telecom Italia,[12] the Bezeq International Optical System,[13] and Tamares Telecom's submarine cable.[14] National connectivity is provided by the Israel Internet eXchange (IIX), a central meeting point of the Internet Service Providers in Israel.[15]

Internet service providers[edit]

Due to competition laws, every DSL or cable Internet user has to pay separately to the infrastructure provider and to the Internet service provider (ISP). Infrastructure is provided by Bezeq (via dial-up and ADSL) and Hot (cable Internet). All cellular companies (Pelephone, Partner, Cellcom and Mirs) provide wireless Internet infrastructure, and also serve as Internet service providers.

The three main Internet service providers are 012 Smile, 013 Netvision (including Internet Rimon) and Bezeq International. In 2006, the companies held market shares of 34, 33 and 30 percent, respectively, although these numbers includes international phone calls.[16] In all, as of August 2012, there were 43 companies with ISP licenses given by the Ministry of Communications.[17]


In Israel, Gilat Satellite Networks provides multi-gigabit per second broadband access to consumers and the defense industry by means of High throughput satellites.[18]

Future plans[edit]

A fiber to the home (FTTH) pilot was conducted in Kiryat Shmona in 2010 by the Israel Electric Corporation, which is slated to build an FTTH network in Israel.[19] On March 6, 2011 the communications ministry approved founding a subsidiary of IEC for that purpose.[20] Bezeq is also set to conduct a similar pilot in Petah Tikva in 2012, paving the way for FTTH connections in Israel.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ziv, Amitay (March 27, 2008). "Broadening the Band: Recommendations of the Gronau Commission to Split Bezeq into Smaller Firms". TheMarker. Retrieved 2010-06-11.  (Hebrew)
  2. ^ "Israel Ranks 7 in Global Broadband Penetration". Ynetnews. June 21, 2009. Retrieved June 22, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Digital Economy Rankings 2010". The Economist. 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-16. 
  4. ^ Haviv, Haim (November 3, 2010). "Bezeq International Will Deploy Undersea Optical Cable". TheCom. Retrieved 2010-11-04.  (Hebrew)
  5. ^ "Israel". OECD. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  6. ^ Haviv, Haim (November 4, 2010). "Science and Technology Committee Discussed Internet Connection Speed". TheCom. Retrieved 2010-11-04.  (Hebrew)
  7. ^ Nes, Gilad (October 21, 2009). "Hot Offers Internet Connection Speeds of Up To 100M". Calcalist. Retrieved 2010-02-18.  (Hebrew)
  8. ^ Weiss, Avi (September 14, 2009). "The Battle Between Bezeq and Hot Intensifies – Customers will Gain Only in Years". TheCom. Retrieved 2010-02-18.  (Hebrew)
  9. ^ a b Haviv, Haim (October 12, 2010). "Bezeq Expo 2010 – Gap With Europe and US Shrinking". TheCom. Retrieved 2010-10-16.  (Hebrew)
  10. ^ a b Haviv, Haim (December 14, 2011). "Bezeq Introduces the New Tidings: Fiber NGN". TheCom. Retrieved 2011-12-15.  (Hebrew)
  11. ^ Dor, Ophir (July 15, 2014). "Partner Received Authorization and Is Inaugurating the First 4G Network in Israel". Calcalist. Retrieved 2014-07-16.  (Hebrew)
  12. ^ Ziv, Amitay (June 9, 2010). "Borovich Will Place Undersea Communications Cable that Will Connect Israel to the World at an Investment of $150 Million". TheMarker. Retrieved 2010-06-11.  (Hebrew)
  13. ^ Zohar-Wolf, Ortal (December 5, 2011). "Bezeq International Finished Laying Submarine Cable". News1. Retrieved 2013-01-02.  (Hebrew)
  14. ^ Ziv, Amitay (February 22, 2012). "Cisco, Elbit, ViaEuropa and Tamar Telecom Will Enter IEC Tender". TheMarker. Retrieved 2012-01-02.  (Hebrew)
  15. ^ "Israel Internet eXchange". ISOC-IL. 
  16. ^ "Gronau Commission Report". Israel Ministry of Communications. 2008. p. 49. Retrieved 2010-06-11.  (Hebrew)
  17. ^ "License Holders for Provision of Internet Connection Services". Israel Ministry of Communications. August 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-02.  (Hebrew)
  18. ^
  19. ^ Weiss, Avi (June 30, 2010). "Kiryat Shmona Leading Broadband Revolution in Israel". TheCom. Retrieved 2010-10-31.  (Hebrew)
  20. ^ "Cabinet OKs New High-Speed Internet Firm". Ynetnews. Reuters. March 9, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 

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