Sunday, January 21, 2007

Telecommunications in Israel

Today I am launching a new website called: Learn English
http://www.learn-english.co.il
Eight people living all over Israel (and myself) worked on the development of the website. The programmer lives in Haifa and the translators live in Rechovot, Bet Shemesh, Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim. The reader lives in Jerusalem and the sound studio is in Jerusalem. I did not have to meet anyone during the whole project. All the work was done via telephone and email. Before the summer I launched two other sites (Learn Hebrew and Learn Spanish) and the development was also directed from my home in Ma'aleh Adumim. In fact, I never met the programmer and some of the translators in person. I paid them via check or direct transfer to their banks.

Over the past several years working from home in Israel has become an option for many people working in the computer field including programmers, technical writers, grahic artists and other IT positions. However, it is not just computers. Other professions like sales, marketing, customer support and even the medical fields are jumping into telecommuting. For example, there are licensed radiologists that work here for US hospitals that need extra help on the US night shift. All this could not be done without a good communications infrastructure connecting Israel to the world.

Israel has one of the highest Internet penetration rates in the world. Last year it was reported that 65% of households surf through fast Internet.There are two ways that most people hookup to fast Internet in Israel: via Bezeq's ADSL service or through the Hot cable company. All Internet providers in Israel support both of these types of connections. Based on feedback from friends, both types of services today are reliable. Most of the problems people sometimes have are usually centered around the Internet Service Provider they choose. I have had the good fortune to be a happy camper with the same ISP for several years now. I also maintain the same cellular company and overseas phone service for the past few years. Every few months I check out the prices of competing companies to see if the market is changing. I have changed plans more then once to get a better deal. Many people do not know about price reductions or specials - you have to ask. If you do not ask, you will not know. Some of the companies are offering package deals including Internet, local phone service and overseas calls. The advent of voice over IP is driving prices down. Israeli communication companies are constantly revising their deals due to competition. Competition is good!!

For those that have not yet visited Israel, you will be glad to know that there are many cities across the country where you can find wi-fi hotspots to surf the Internet from your notebook computer or PDA. I do not have a notebook but I am pretty sure that the wi-fi hookup instructions will be also in English. Now that you can stay connected while you are here, why not spend you next vacation in Israel ? Drop me an email when you get here.
Shavua Tov,
Have a good week,
Jacob

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

For more information about telecommunications in Israel take a look at http://www.megavolt.co.il/connecting.html