Israel to Allow Palestinians to Receive 4G Cellular Service
Palestinian Authority Civil Affairs Minister Hussein Al-Sheikh announced in a tweet on Tuesday morning that the Palestinians are set to get 4G cellular service. The development is one of several understandings arrived at by Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the result of a meeting on Sunday between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz. The agreements, mostly economic in nature, are designed to help improve the standard of living of Palestinians.
Israel, where 3G networks went into service in 2004, withheld cellular frequencies from the Palestinians for over a decade. In November 2015, it agreed to allow 3G in the West Bank alone and not in Gaza.
Israeli cellular providers upgraded to 4G in 2014.
This is positive news for Palestinian cellular companies which, according to an estimate in the 2016 World Bank report, lost between $436 million and $1.5 billion in potential revenue between 2013 and 2015 due to Israeli restrictions on frequencies and equipment imports, and unauthorized competition by Israeli operators.