Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Cellular Spring

Lior Lehrs 

The first cellular phone company began operating in Israel in 1986, and since that time the mobile phone appears to have significantly changed our lifestyle. The cellular communications market in Israel has recently been placed on the public agenda following a series of reforms and changes in this area that are intended to increase market competition and lower prices for the consumer. 

According to data of the 2010 social survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics, 91% of Israel’s residents had a mobile phone. This figure compares to 85% in 2006 and 77% in 2002. The percentage of mobile phone owners in Jerusalem was identical to the national average (91%) and slightly lower than the figure for Tel Aviv (92%), Haifa (93%), and Rishon LeZion (96%). The survey results indicate that the percentage of Jerusalem residents who made use of other functions of the mobile phone was lower than the percentage for other major cities in Israel. For example, the data indicate that the percentage of Jerusalemites who sent a text message during the month preceding the survey (among mobile phone owners) was 54%, compared to 79% among Tel Aviv residents and 66% in Haifa. The results were consistent for Internet use through the mobile phone: 12% in Jerusalem, as opposed to 23% in Tel Aviv and 21% in Haifa. Regarding camera use through the mobile phone, the results were 44% in Jerusalem, as opposed to 58% in Tel Aviv and 52% in Haifa. 

The data indicate that a correlation exists between level of religious observance and possession of a mobile phone in Israel. Within the Jewish population, the percentage of cell phone owners among the secular (95%) was higher than the percentage among the traditional religious (91%), the religious (90%), or the Haredi (86%). Within the non-Jewish population as well, the percentage of mobile phone owners among the non-religious (92%) was higher than among the religious (90%) or very religious (67%). Analysis by age group also reveals differences. For example, within the age group of 20-44 years, the percentage of mobile phone owners exceeded 95%. Among those aged 65-74 years the percentage was 81%, and for those aged 75 and above the percentage was 61%. 




Statistical source: Analysis of data from the social survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics