Israeli Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel announced on Tuesday that three Israeli telecommunications companies had been awarded licenses to operate Fifth Generation (5G) communications networks in the country.

“As of today, there is 5G in Israel. I have just completed the licensing ceremony,” said Hendel in a statement.

According to Israeli business daily Globes, the three companies are Partner Communications Ltd., Pelephone and Hot Mobile.

“For a decade, the State of Israel has lagged behind in the field of infrastructure. I am committed to quickly reducing the gap and returning to leadership in the field of communications. The State of Israel and the whole world are going through difficult days and it is good that there are some bright spots for the encouragement and growth of the economy,” said Hendel.

5G networks can support a large number of connections and devices, and transmit copious amounts of information at high speeds. According to the Communications Ministry, these networks are characterized by low latency (almost real-time response), greater bandwidth and extreme reliability, and can be divided into different layers with different user characteristics (so that different layers of the network can be dedicated to different purposes).

The technology will enable “remote operation of devices, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, gaming, real time big data analysis, smart city, smart medicine, distance learning, innovative agriculture applications” and more, according to the ministry.

Pelephone CEO Ran Guron said that his company’s subscribers would be able to receive 5G services immediately in 150 towns and cities across Israel, according to Globes. Partner CEO Itzik Benbenishti said that today’s announcement was very significant news for all Partner’s subscribers, while Hot Mobile CEO Ilan Brook said that his company was very excited, and that from today the company’s subscribers, both business and private, would be able to benefit from 5G services, according to the report.

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