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TMCNet:  IDF receives LTE frequencies [Globes, Tel Aviv, Israel]

[February 26, 2013]

IDF receives LTE frequencies [Globes, Tel Aviv, Israel]

(Globes (Tel Aviv) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 26--Sources inform "Globes" that the IDF has received frequencies for a 4G LTE tender, even though, in principle, the frequencies are intended for the mobile carriers, which are desperate for them to meet demand for broadband communications. The frequencies (in the 2,600 Megahertz bandwidth and 700 Megahertz bandwidth) were allocated by the Ministry of Communications' frequencies committee.

An examination by "Globes" found that the frequencies received by the IDF had been promised it at least five years ago. However, the IDF is supposed to vacate the frequencies in the 2,600 Megahertz bandwidth in favor of the mobile carriers, but it has not done so because of a dispute with the Ministry of Finance over the compensation.

Sources familiar with the subject told "Globes" that there is no problem in allocating new frequencies to the IDF, even though it has not yet vacated the 2,600 Megahertz bandwidth frequencies, because the bandwidth is divided into segments, only some of which the IDF uses. When the IDF reaches a deal with the Ministry of Finance over the compensation, it will vacate the frequencies designated for LTE networks.

Security constraints Another highly sought-after bandwidth, which has also been allocated to the IDF, is the 700 Megahertz bandwidth, which in the US is used by mobile carriers for 4G networks. This bandwidth suffers from disruptions from neighboring countries which operate television broadcasts. This bandwidth is also used for television in Israel, so even if it is vacated, it will still suffer from disruptions. Nonetheless, the IDF is prepared to accept these frequencies and use them, despite the flawed quality, on the assumption that it will know how to get along with the expected disruptions.

Ultimately, the criticism still stands that the IDF is receiving frequencies for establishing a 4G network, while mobile carriers are still seeking, but not receiving, frequencies. Another question is why wasn't the additional allocation to the IDF postponed and made conditional on the IDF first vacating the frequencies as promised. One explanation is that the Ministry of Communications was forced to submit to security constraints and prior agreements, which as in many cases, security and life trumped the quality of life.

___ (c)2013 the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel) Visit the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel) at www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/nodeview.asp fid=942 Distributed by MCT Information Services

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