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Cellcom (Israel)

Cellcom (Israel)
Company nameCellcom Israel
Company typePublic (TLV - CEL, Nyse - CEL)
Sloganככה זה כשאוהבים
IndustryWireless Services
Founder(s)Dov Tadmor
Area servedIsrael
Key peopleAmi Erel, Chairman
Nochi Dankner
Amos Shapira, CEO
Lipa Ogman, CTO
Revenue$1.57B (2007)
Operating income$332M (2007)
Net income$226M (2007)
Owner(s)Discount Investment Corporation Ltd. (part of the IDB Group), directly and indirectly- 52.6%

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Cellcom (Hebrew: סלקום) is a major Israeli 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 experienced major network outages due to a software bug in Motorola Alpha handsets. 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 2010, 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 850Mhz band but after winning tenders for GSM-1800 frequencies it began offering GSM services. Cellcom eventually sought to replace the 850Mhz 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 user of the lower frequency's better in-building penetration and greater cell reach.

With its entry into 3G wireless services Cellcom demoed the first mobile video call in Israel. Since the beginning of 2006, Cellcom began 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 2009, Cellcom began to deploy UMTS services in the 850Mhz band, employing unused capacity in that frequency range since it had very few TDMA customers remaining.In mid-2006, Cellcom received a license to offer terrestrial domestic telephony services using the national prefix 073-2. The service is aimed at mainly 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.

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