UPDATE 1-Israel’s Cellcom network suffering major fault

*Many customers unable to make or receive calls

*Cellcom says working with Nokia to restore service

(Updates with CEO comments, changes dateline)

TEL AVIV, Dec 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Cellcom (CEL.TA: ) (CEL.N: ),
Israel’s largest mobile phone operator, said on Wednesday it was
having problems with its network that was preventing many of its
customers from making or receiving calls.

“Cellcom’s network is experiencing possibly its worst-ever
malfunction since the establishment of the company. A very
significant number of customers are experiencing great
difficulty in making and receiving calls,” Chief Executive Amos
Shapira told a news conference.

Cellcom had 3.376 million customers at the end of September.

Shapira said the company’s engineers were working together
with engineers from Nokia (NOK1V.HE: ) to try to fix the problem
and restore service as soon as possible, although he could not
say how long this might take.

“Hundreds of Cellcom engineers are doing everything they can
to restore this vital service as quickly as possible. We are in
touch with Nokia engineers … in Finland and anywhere else we
can recruit knowledge to fix this fault as quickly as possible,”
he added.

Shapira said the malfunction was “in software in the core of
the network.”

A telecoms source said clients across Israel were affected
but that those hardest hit were residents of the centre of the
country where 80 percent of the population lives.
(Reporting by Dedi Hayoun; Writing by Steven Scheer and Ori
Lewis; Editing by Erica Billingham)

UPDATE 1-Israel’s Cellcom network suffering major fault