Staying Connected in Israel
Third Israeli Phone Provider: Zahav 012
By Hillel Fendel
Bezeq and Hot are no longer alone: The Communications Ministry has granted a license to Golden Lines to operate internal Israeli phone lines - via the internet.
Golden Lines currently provides international phone calls, using the prefix 012, in addition to Bezeq (014) and Barak (013). Internal phone calls were long the monopoly of Bezeq, which was recently joined by Hot, using the prefix 077.
As of today's decision by Communications Minister Ariel Attias (Shas), Golden Lines will now join as well, using the prefix 072.
For the first time in Israel, the new phone service will be provided based on VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technology. Golden Lines will offer packages with no monthly phone line fees, free phone calls to 072 numbers, and cheaper rates to regular and cellular phones.
Daytime call rates will be only 10 agorot per minute, compared to 11.9 agorot via Bezeq. Nighttime rates are 4.8 agorot per minute, only .1 of an agorah less than Bezeq. Some 13,000 subscribers are already registered to the service, having joined up during the company's pre-launch testing period.
Golden Lines says it has invested 30 million shekels into the project, and will continue to invest more in the field.
The service is available to internet customers throughout the country - except in many areas in the Golan, Judea and Samaria. A query to Golden Lines regarding Keshet and Hispin in the Golan; Tapuach, Elkanah, and Elon Moreh in the Shomron; Beit El in Binyamin; and Maaleh Hever in southern Judea - produced the response that only Elkanah and Beit El were currently covered by the new service.
For more information on the service, and on Golden Lines' future plans regarding Judea, Samaria and the Golan, send email to "Info@012.net".