|Industry||Mobile telephony, Telecommunication|
|Products||GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, DC-HSPA+, LTE|
Golan Telecom (Hebrew: גולן טלקום) is a mobile network operator in Israel. In July 2011 the company won a tender to operate a 3G wireless network in Israel beginning in 2012, and as of July 2015 it had about 0.8 million subscribers.
The company was founded by Michael Golan (b. Michaël Boukobza, Paris, France, 1978), a businessman who immigrated to Israel from France in 2007, and his partner Xavier Niel – with whom Golan previously developed several telecom ventures as an executive of the Iliad SA group in France, using a business model emphasizing low-cost fixed monthly pricing rather than metered usage.
Golan Telecom is the fifth operator to enter the mobile communications market in Israel, after Pelephone, Cellcom, Partner and Hot Mobile, and is the first brand new company to do so in Israel since 1999. The company received the prefix 058 and on 14 May 2012 began offering no-contract packages of calls (including free long-distance calling to certain international destinations), text messages and unlimited Internet surfing for ₪99 a month and a low-cost metered package starting at ₪9.90 a month which includes 100 minutes, unlimited text messages, and 100 MB of data.
At the beginning of July 2012 Golan announced 80,000 users in two months, equaling 10,000 new customers per week. On 4 December 2013 Golan Telecom claimed 380,000 subscribers, a 134,000 increase from the start of the year. On 30 June 2014 this number grew to 500,000 subscribers, and in May 2015 it hit 750,000 subscribers.
Golan Telecom built its business around the somewhat blunt and unusual slogan, "Enough of being a sucker," which is currently shown as part of its logo. The direct approach in choosing such slogan arose from the frustration of Israeli consumers with the high cost of living in Israel, with cellular communication rates in particular, and as a means of empathy with consumers. Indeed, upon their introduction, Golan's rates were significantly lower than those offered by the existing wireless providers in the country and quickly forced the other providers to drastically reduce their prices, thus providing a boon to many Israeli wireless telephone subscribers. Iliad SA had previously made similar market-disrupting moves in the telecom sector in France.
In December 2011 Golan Telecom signed agreements to install base-stations manufactured by Nokia Siemens Networks. Its network is an HSPA+ network in the 2100 MHz band, with roaming in areas not yet covered. Roaming was first carried by Cellcom's 1800 MHz GSM and 2100 MHz HSPA+ network, then moved to Hot Mobile's network, which provides 2G, 3G, and 4G coverage. In September 2013 Golan announced that it will implement a tower sharing agreement with the Partner network. On 18 December 2014 Golan announced the launch of their 4G LTE network.
Mobile number portability blocks
According to Israeli site Ynet, for several days in May 2012 Pelephone blocked their customers' ability to port their existing wireless number to Golan Telecom, claiming Golan was in violation of regulations involving required subscriber verification and authentication during the porting process. A ruling by the Communications ministry stated that Pelephone had no authority to unilaterally block their customers from moving and instructed the company to lift the block.
Merger and purchase
In October 2015 Golan entered talks with Hot Mobile on a possible merger. Following the announcement of a possible merger with Hot Mobile, Pelephone announced their intention to purchase Golan for ₪1 billion. In November 2015 it was announced that Golan has reached an acquisition agreement with Cellcom for ₪1.17 billion. Following Cellcom's announcement, Moshe Kahlon the Minister of Finance announced his opposition to the takeover plan, and stated he would do everything in his power to ensure the Antitrust Authority and the Communications Ministry would block the take over. Benjamin Netanyahu the Prime Minister of Israel, also announced his opposition to the deal, and his intention to use his power within the communications ministry portfolio, which he also holds, to block the deal.
On May 26, 2016 it was reported in several business newspapers that Shellanoo Group a technology company majority owned by Israeli businessmen OD Kobo and Roman Abramovich along with PIR Equities are in advanced discussions to purchase Golan.
- Benayoun, Arik (21 April 2012). "Le Troll de la semaine : Xavier Niel et sa licence de téléphonie israélienne". French: DeGroup News. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- Rouach, Daniel (18 July 2011). "EDITO: ISRAELVALLEY - XAVIER NIEL ET MICHAEL GOLAN (EX-BOUKOBZA) OBTIENNENT LA 5 EME LICENCE D'OPERATEUR DANS LE MOBILE EN ISRAËL." (in French). Israel Valley. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- Kristal, Merav (14 May 2012). "Golan Telecom: NIS 99 Unlimited Package". Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved 19 May 2012.
- More call minutes, more internet bandwidth, unlimited SMS and all for NIS9.90 per month and internet surfing at NIS37 per month
- גולן טלקום הגיעה לחצי מיליון מנויים - מס' 1 בגיוסים
- Barclays | Israel Telecom Services
- "Golan Telecom - General Information". www.golantelecom.co.il. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
- The revolution doesn't stop! Golan Telecom launches today 4G LTE and provides additional 20GB one month gift in 4G LTE!!!
- Golan Telecom accuses rivals of blocking porting
- HOT Mobile and Golan Telecom in talks over possible merger
- Israel's Pelephone offers to buy rival Golan Telecom
- Cellcom buys out Golan Telecom for NIS 1.17 billion
- Cellcom in Pact to Buy Golan Telecom for $301 Million
- Netanyahu opposes Cellcom-Golan Telecom deal
- Peretz, Gad (May 26, 2016). "Roman Abramovich and Oded Kobo are evaluating the purchase of Golan Telecom". Globes. Archived from the original on 27 May 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- Main portal (in Hebrew)