Israel's Mirs picks Nokia Siemens for mobile deal

By @ibtimes on

Israel's Mirs Communications has chosen Nokia Siemens Networks to supply the infrastructure for its new mobile phone network in a deal valued at 200 million shekels ($59 million) over three years.

Mirs said on Sunday it chose Nokia Siemens over Ericsson , the other bidder in the final stage of the tender competition. Nokia Siemens is a 50-50 joint venture of Nokia and Siemens .

Mirs, which is owned by French businessman Patrick Drahi, is the fourth-largest mobile phone operator in Israel.

In April it won one of two mobile phone licenses auctioned off by the Communications Ministry, which will enable it to expand significantly. It offered 705 million shekels for the license.

Israel's near $6 billion a year mobile phone market is dominated by three carriers -- Cellcom Israel , Partner Communications and Pelephone, a subsidiary of Bezeq Israel Telecom .

Mirs, which has a market share of only 4-5 percent, was the only existing operator allowed to participate in the tendering.

Drahi also controls Israeli cable TV operator HOT , which offers internet and fixed-line phone services in competition with Bezeq, Israel's largest telecoms group.

($1=3.39 shekels)

(Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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