Tel Aviv, Israel

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Tel Aviv, Israel-Israel's cable-television operators should not be able to bid on telephony licenses to compete with incumbent telco Bezeq, the country's communications minister said recently.

However, Israel's three MSOs-Golden Lines Ltd., Matav Cable Systems Media Ltd and Tevel Israel International Communications Ltd.-will be required to open their existing infrastructure to their telephony competitors.

Some government officials fear the cable companies will charge third parties prohibitively high prices to access their networks, in order to stifle competition.

Meanwhile, it is unclear if Bezeq will force companies that use its network to also employ its workers.

Communications Minister Binyamin Ben Elieazer hopes new entrants will provide basic telephone services, point-to-point transmission services, data communications and infrastructure services, according to ministry spokeswoman Tami Sheinkman.

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