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Staying Connected in Israel

Types of Internet Connections in Israel

By: Jonathan Z. Kremer

Updated: December 15, 2006

As technologies used over the internet advance (VoIP, database-driven Web sites, online gaming...) and continue to put more and more demands on the speed and quality of the internet connection, those same connections will continue to improve to meet the challenge - getting better and faster all the time.

The connection types and speeds listed below represent what is normally available worldwide, as well as what is available today in Israel. This information will no doubt change constantly and without notice as the various internet providers, phone companies, and cable companies advance by adopting newer and better technologies.


Also called dial-up (or "modem") access, these connections are relatively slow (up to 56kbps). Using a modem connected to your PC, users connect to the Internet when the computer dials a phone number (which is provided by your internet service provider) and connects to the network. The modem converts analog data to digital and vise versa. Because dial-up access uses normal telephone lines, (over the same frequencies) the quality of the connection is not always good and data rates are limited.

Most of the Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Israel still provide this type of connection, although they try their best to hide the fact, preferring to sell other types of connections instead.

NOTE: Bezeq has a dial-up service called "BezeqNet" which will connect you to the internet (by dialing 135 or 132) through your choice of ISPs, from a large list that they provide. Bezeq will charge you by the minute and will add the charge to your phone bill. For more information call Bezeq at 199. Additionally, if you use analog access, you can subscribe to a Bezeq service called "lite-net", which gives a 50% discount on modem calls, for a price of 2 NIS per month.


Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)is a digital technology which is faster, smoother, and less disruptive than a regular analog connection (with a speed range of 64 Kbps - 128 Kbps). Although ISDN is still available through Bezeq and most of the ISPs in Israel, it is seldom used, and takes a back seat to the newer, faster and more popular technologies.


Broadband ISDN is similar in function to ISDN but not use regular telephone lines, but transfers data over fiber optic telephone lines instead. Broadband ISDN has not been widely implemented around the world and is not available in Israel.


Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) runs over your standard telephone line using higher frequencies than those used by the phone company for analog voice communication. This means that your normal telephone service can operate at the same time as your DSL is being used. DSL comes in a few "flavors" which comprises the family of xDSL. This includes ADSL, CDSL, HDSL, VDSL, SDSL,...and others. At the moment only ADSL is available in Israel.


Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) is the most commonly used form of DSL, and the only form that is available in Israel at this moment. Asymmetric means that the user receives a higher downloading speed (receiving speed) in exchange for a slower uploading speed (sending speed). With speeds reaching 10 Mbps or more, the various plans available in Israel (as of this post) include download speeds of: 256 Kbps, 500 Kbps, 750 Kbps, 1.5 Mbps, 2 Mbps, 3 Mbps, and 5 Mbps. The ISPs in Israel offer upload speeds (sending data) ranging from 64 Kbps - 1 Mbps, depending on the plan that you are on. ADSL requires a special ADSL modem.


Consumer Digital Subscriber Line (CDSL), trademarked by Rockwell Corporation, is a slower type of DSL which doesn't seem to be much available anymore.


High bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line (HDSL) is one of the earliest forms of DSL, and used for wideband digital transmission within a corporate site and between the telephone company and a customer. The main characteristic of HDSL is that it is symmetrical: an equal amount of bandwidth is available in both directions.


Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL) is a symmetric technology that is common in Europe. SDSL is called symmetric because it supports the same data rates for upstream and downstream traffic. SDSL requires a special SDSL modem.


Very high speed Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL) is a DSL technology that offers fast data rates over relatively short distances - the shorter the distance, the faster the connection rate. VDSL is a new technology not expected to be in use in public networks for some years to come.


A cable data connection transfers information from the Internet to your computer through your cable television connection. Because the coaxial cable used by cable TV provides much greater bandwidth than telephone lines, a cable modem can be used to achieve extremely fast access (with speeds up to 20 Mbps).

Although bandwidth is greater, transfer rates are affected by the number of subscribers online simultaneously. All connections originate on one line per street, so signals degrade as more subscribers come online. The speeds available in Israel is compatible to ADSL (see ADSL above). Like ADSL, the download speeds are much higher than the upload speeds.

Wireless Internet Connections

Wireless internet is a high-speed technology that transmits data over radio waves. Wireless Internet provides an always-on connection which can be accessed from anywhere - as long as you are geographically within a network coverage area. Wireless is a new technology that is continually developing. Although small private wireless networks ("hotspots") can be found around shopping malls and business areas, no wireless internet is available to the general public through any ISP in Israel, though a few are offering geographically limited trials of WIMAX (a new wireless technology), which is expected to become commercially available in the next 12-18 months.

T-1 Lines

T-1 lines are not normally used for a home, but are a popular leased line option for businesses that need a "backbone" connection to the Internet. With speeds up to 1.544 Mbps, a T-1 line consists of 24 individual channels, with each channel supporting 64 Kbps. Each channel can be configured to carry voice or data traffic. A T1 connection requires a substantial investment, and because of this some smaller businesses prefer to use ADSL or other technologies.

T-1 lines are an American Standard and are not available in Israel. Like most of Europe, Israel uses the E-1 line described below.

E-1 Lines

E-1 lines are the European equivalent of the T-1 line. With speeds up to 2 Mbps, an E-1 line consists of 30 individual channels, with each channel supporting 64 kbps. Like the T-1 line each channel can be configured to carry voice or data traffic.

Bonded E-1

A bonded E-1 is two or more E-1 lines that have been joined (bonded) together to increase bandwidth.

E-3 Lines

E-3 lines are dedicated phone connections supporting data rates of about 43 to 45 Mbps. These are usually provided over fiber-optic cables, which allow for much faster speeds. Because of their high bandwidth and correspondingly high costs, E-3 lines are usually used by ISP's and large enterprises.


Internet over Satellite (IoS) allows a user to access the Internet via a satellite that orbits the earth. Used mostly in locations where other, more standard internet access is not available or where movement is frequent. IoS is slightly slower than high-speed connections over copper or fiber optic cables, because of the great distances that the signals must travel. Standard connection speeds average around 512 Kbps. No satellite connections are available to the general public in Israel at this time.

One last note:
Generally speaking, the last few years has shown us that all the technologies seem to be taking a back seat to the "end result", especially when it comes to business internet. The Bezeq salesman will just offer "x" mb at a specific quality of service. Most of their customers don't know what technology is being used.


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