Paltel or Palestinian Telecommunication Group (Arabic: مجموعه الاتصالات الفلسطينيه) is the largest private-sector company in the Palestine, employing almost 2,000 people. Its subsidiaries include the landline network Paltel, which was in service in 1994, and internet services provider Hadara.
In 1995, when Yasser Arafat set up the Palestine Telecommunications Co, only 3% of Palestinians owned a telephone; applicants would have to wait years for a connection by Bezeq, the Israeli state-owned provider. The initial three year plan was to invest $600m in the West Bank and Gaza in order to increase customers from 85,000 to 250,000. An agreement was reached in 1997 to acquire knowhow from Cable and Wireless, and in 1998 Ericsson won the contract to supply a GSM cellular network. That year Arafat called on mobile users to switch to Paltel which would soon become the sole providers for the two regions.
The mobile operator of PaltelGroup, [clarification needed] with its 2 million subscribers, has stopped a merger operation with Zain, but still will join the One Network project in the year 2010.