Why Israelies don’t ‘buy’ the mobile broadband idea


It was on June 2008, when Pelephone has launched its 4M ILS (1.6M $) campaign to promote it’s new mobile broadband+ laptop bundle.

The offer was considered innovative at the time, since operators only started offering a free lap-top in Europe  after Orage UK‘s successful launch in July 2008.

The campaign started with outdoor ads showing the message we all like to hate when browsing the internet:  “The Page Cannot Be Displayed”.

The teaser was followed by an exposure of “Netstick”, Pelephone’s mobile broadband modem which allows 10 GB in up to 2.4Mbps speed.

The combined laptop (Dell500) +netstick bundle offered customers a very attractive price of 119 ILS per month (31.5$), in an 18 months contract.

(for POS material: https://mobileisrael.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/mobile-pos-of-the-holy-land-2/)

Considering the fact that this price is much lower than other mobile broadband offers in Israel ( which dosen’t even include a lap-top in the price), it is rather surprising the netstick bundle isn’t a big hit.

So why did that happen?

1. Israeli charachter– First of all, we Israelies as people, are very suspicious customers. Good deals allways seems like a honey trap to us, so we like to wait and see what happens to others falling in the so called “trap. We are very sceptical that any promotion can really do us some good… and well, unfortunatly it is not very good to be innovative in Israel. Innovation comes many time here, too much ahead of time, and the market has not matured enough.

2. Maturation-A main reason for the tremendous success the Orange “connected range” had in the UK, is the maturity of the mobile broadband market there. According to a survey by Point Topic Almost half of UK users accessing the internet away from home or work prefer mobile broadband networks. Forty-seven percent of surveyed users now choose mobile broadband networks to access the internet, compared to 42 percent who still use Wi-Fi hotspots. Meanwhile, Mobile broadband packages offering a free laptop are becoming increasingly popular with consumers and are set to be one of the big Christmas gift ideas for cash strapped consumers.

This is not the case in Israel.

3. Business segments– While in Europe it might be quite customary  to work from home or in general out of the office with a lap-top, in israel there are not many employees or Soho segment businessmen working out of the office. It is usually Salespersons that use the mobile broadband outdoors.

4. Low speed– offering an up to 2.4Mbps speed in Israel is not very attractive, and emphasizes the disadvantage of the mobile broadband.

5. Low fixed broadband prices– fixed broadband prices have reached a point from which they can’t be lower (29.9-39.9 ILS for 2.4Mbps) . Considering those prices are so low private customers should have no reason to pay for an expensive luxury (99.9-129.9 ILS for 2.4Mbps).

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