Golan Telecom has been chosen as the country's fifth cellphone network operator, after several other companies that had been set to take the licenses for two frequencies auctioned off by the government failed to come up with funding to pay for the licenses. Golan Telecom actually came in fourth in a tender held last April, offering NIS 360 million for the frequencies, as compared to better bids of NIS 705 and 695 million. Neither company making the bids were able to secure financing. The decision to award the tender to Golan was made by a government panel Monday.
Golan Telecom is owned by French immigrant Michael Golan, who owns Free, a major French telecom company.