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Phones and internet in Israel

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As a leading high-tech hub, Israel has developed, state-of-the-art telecommunications networks that will provide you ample opportunity to stay connected and keep in touch with your loved ones in the country, as well as overseas. Here is an overview of telecommunications in Israel.

Mobile phones in Israel

Provided your foreign smartphone is unlocked, it should work with an Israeli SIM (although some ethically-challenged salespeople may tell you otherwise in a bid to sell you a new phone!).

There are several mobile phone services providers in Israel, each offering a wide array of plans, either subscription-based or prepaid. Make sure to shop around to identify the option that best suits your needs.

Monthly subscription plans generally involve a commitment. Although the standard commitment period is fixed by law at 18 months, contracts can in some cases span as much as 36 months. You can settle your monthly bill either with a credit card or though automatic bank transfers.

Another option is to buy prepaid phone cards (known as Talkman cards), available with most service providers. They are simple to use, commitment-free and accessible (you can buy one from pretty much any convenience store), although they tend to be much pricier that subscription-based packages.

Note that you’ll need a Teudat Zehut (Israeli ID card) to open a mobile line under your name. If you do not have one yet, you may rent an Israeli SIM card from specialised companies.

 Useful links:

Mobile service providers:

Cellcom
Mirs
Pelephone (in Hebrew)

SIM rental companies:

Unlimited Israel
Amigo
Talk’n'save
Travelcell

Opening a phone and Internet line in Israel

Either of the two main Israeli landline providers, Bezeq or Hot, can set up an Internet-compatible phone line at your home in a few days. In addition to monthly settlements for communication expenses, they may charge a one-time installation fee. Be on the lookout for seasonal discounts that offer a waiver on set-up fees.

 Good to know:

Here again you’ll be asked to present Israeli identification documents to set up a line. If you don’t have yours yet, try to find a proxy, or seek help from your landlord or your contact person at the Immigration office.

 Useful links:

Line providers:

Bezeq (in Hebrew)

Communication plans

As in most other countries, most Israeli Sapakim (Internet Service Provider) offer communication packages including calls, Internet access and diverse additional services such as international voice plans (the international VoIP schemes are generally interesting).

Israel has a number of Sapakim offering high-speed Internet through different technologies (including ADSL and fibre optic). Each provider has several packages for you to chose from, do not hesitate to shop around, and even to bargain, which is common practice with Israeli Internet services providers.

Check out the companies’ websites for more information about fees and conditions.

 Good to know:

All mobile phone and Internet providers offer “kosher” deals. “Kosher” phones cannot connect to the Internet and do not have SMS capabilities, while “Kosher” Internet is filtered.

To switch a device’s keyboard from Hebrew to English, click on the HE button at the bottom of the screen, or simultaneously hold the Shift and Alt keys.

 Useful links:

Bezeqint
Unlimited

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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