Internet in Israel
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. Actual broadband market penetration stands at 77 percent, ranked 7th in the world. in 2010, Israel was ranked 26th in The Economist's Digital Economy Rankings.
Internet in Israel is provided through the phone and cable infrastructures, by Bezeq and Hot respectively. Bezeq provides dial-up and ADSL, 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.
IBC, a new company formed as a subsidiary of Israel's electric company and other telecom companies, is expected to become the third competitor in the infrastructure market in 2015, and will provide customers with symmetrical FTTH residential lines starting at 100Mbit/s and going as far as 1Gbit/s.
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. 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. This was enabled by a significant upgrade to the Internet infrastructure in 1999, at a cost of over a billion shekels. 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.
The average download speed in household broadband connections in Israel is 27Mbit/s, while upload speeds average at 3.1Mbit/s. Maximum speeds via the cable modem provider's (Hot) connection are 200 Mbit/s down and 5 Mbit/s up for consumers (and 500Mbit/s down and 10Mbit/s up for business customers in select markets) over DOCSIS 3.0, a service started on October 21, 2009. 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+/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+, 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. Its main cable competitor, HOT, using DOCSIS 3.0 infrastructure which allow higher bandwidths.
The three largest mobile phone carriers, Pelephone, Partner (Orange), and Cellcom, offer HSPDA service, typically 24 Mbit/s, over their respective 3G networks as well. Partner was the first provider to operate a consumer 4G (LTE) network, reaching a theoretical symmetrical speed of 100Mbit/s. As of today, all major mobile carriers offer 4G LTE Advanced connectivity in the 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz frequencies, available in most populated regions in Israel, however these services are limited to about 20% of their maximum speeds since the Israeli Ministry of Communications has not completed allocating the full spectrum of the required frequencies.
Israel is connected abroad by three undersea cables: MedNautilus, owned by Telecom Italia, the Bezeq International Optical System, and Tamares Telecom's submarine cable. Domestic connectivity is provided by the Israel Internet eXchange (IIX), a central meeting point of the Internet Service Providers in Israel.
Internet service providers
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 include international phone calls. In all, as of August 2012, there were 43 companies with ISP licenses given by the Ministry of Communications.
A third landline Internet infrastructure is being built by the Israel Electric Corporation, which will provide fiber to the home access in the country, starting with Beersheba. This follows a March 6, 2011 communications ministry approval. The network is called "Unlimited" and will provide up to 1 Gbit/s access to Israeli homes. After the network is laid, speeds above 1 Gbit/s will be possible. Bezeq is also set to conduct a similar pilot in Petah Tikva in 2012, paving the way for FTTH connections in Israel.
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- 012 Smile Communications
- 013 Netvision
- 014 Bezeq International
- 018 XFone
- Triple Cloud
- Internet Rimon
- Internet Binat