The mbile phone price wars are back in Israel. After an opening salvo months ago, in which several new service providers forced the big companies – Partner-Orange, Cellcom, and Pelephone – to cut prices, Golan Telecom, one of the “upstart” new companies, announced Sunday that it was cutting prices in half. And in response, veteran mobile phone company Cellcom said that it, too, was cutting its prices.
On Monday, Cellcom announced that it would offer customers an all-in-one package for NIS 79, 40 shekels cheaper than the cost of the package Sunday. The package includes unlimited phone calls, text messages, and up to 1GB of internet surfing on devices.
By cutting prices yet again, Cellcom hopes to retain customers and prevent them from migrating to Golan Communications, which dropped its all-in-one package price from NIS 99 to NIS 49 Sunday. That price is available to customers who transfer from other service providers (current Golan customers are not eligible). Although the Cellcom package is still significantly more expensive than Golan's, the company hopes that its long-standing reputation for reliability, combined with the additional discount (which all current, as well as new, Cellcom customers are eligible for) will be enough to retain customers.
A Cellcom company official said Monday that the NIS 79 package was not new. “We have actually been offering this for awhile. We haven't advertised it, but we have offered it to current customers,” the official said.
Although, said the official, he could understand why customers would want to migrate to Golan, he said that they should not rush, just in case Golan was unable to handle the rush of new customers. “Many things have happened in the mobile phone business this year,” said the Cellcom official. “I wouldn't be surprised if our price dropped again next month.”