"The merged cable company will provide telephony services three years after its merger date," said Ami Even, Golden Channels CEO. Even gives his estimate based on the state of the industry, the fact the merger has not yet been approved, the technology that still needs streamlining and the global decline in investments in general.

All the same, Even still says that "supplying telephony services would be the right move for both cable companies and the state, making telephony competitive and providing the consumer with an alternative. Having more than one telephony provider in the local calls market is important.¿

He then added the service does not have to be used by every household; what is important is that it becomes accessible to consumers who seek an alternative.

"In a matter of months a balance between the players in the multi-channel TV market will be reached. I am talking about the price and specials war between cable companies and satellite TV provider YES. It is my estimate Yes satellite TV will never get more than 350,000 subscribers."

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"Of course, if current conditions persist, having multi-channel TV in Israel will become more and more uncertain."

Even made sure to mention the fact cable companies were getting ready to market their fast Internet by as early as February. "I think of fast Internet as a service for everyone," says Even, and explains cable companies intend to market their packages cautiously at first, not to dump the service into the market.

Even predicts cable companies will recruit about 100,000 fast Internet subscribers by the end of 2002. When asked about subscribers leaving the cable companies, Even said "we started our marketing war against satellite when we had 470,000 subscribers. Today we have 450,000, a lot better than we had hoped for."

As for reaching profitability, Even staes without flinching that "cable companies will post net profit in three years time."