|Industry||Telecommunications and cable television|
|Founded||August 18, 2003|
|Tal Granot Goldstein (CEO)|
|Website||www.hot.net.il (in Hebrew)|
Hot Telecommunication Systems Ltd. (Hebrew: - "?) is a company that provides cable television, last-mile Internet access, broadband and telecommunication services in Israel. It also provides various data transmission services and network services at different rates, services to the business sector and other ancillary services.
In November 2004, Hot Telecom commenced providing domestic fixed line telephone services to residential and business subscribers. The company's shares were traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and was a constitute of the TA-100 Index until its acquisition by Altice. In March 2013, the company employed 3,958 workers.
The company was founded on August 18, 2003 as union of the three national cable companies in Israel - Matav, Tevel, and Golden Channels that can be directly linked to the growing competition of the local satellite television provider Yes. While these companies had pursued a union since the late 1990s in order to save administrative and content purchasing costs, and especially after Yes was founded in order to annihilate it before it could grow, the Israeli government monopoly regulator had denied it until the time when Yes had grown at least a minimum subscriber base. The three original companies had not competed with each other since each had been regulated with specific cities and regions around the country.
Hot offers about 200 local and foreign-language channels in its digital television services. Hot also offers several 'exclusive' channels (not available from the competing Yes company) under the Hot brand name. In addition to the digital television services, Hot still provides an analog television service, despite plans to abandon it by 2012, but it has already disconnected the analog service in many areas including central Israel, in favor of digital signals. Many HOT subscribers must now have a digital converter box installed if they wish to view broadcasts.
Not long after it was created, Hot began offering local telecom service using VoIP, a voice-over-internet technology, and internet access services as well. Hot is not an Internet service provider and is only permitted to offer last mile access. As of 2006 , Hot has about 950,000 clients - 60% of these are using the digital television services, over 400,000 are using the internet services and over 100,000 are using the phone services.
As of late 2005, Hot offers a wide VOD service, offering contents from almost all channels and content that is not broadcast by other companies. Hot also has a "start over" service in a few of Hot owned channels, as of 2008.
In 2009, businessman Patrick Drahi increased his stake in the company. Drahi completed the takeover in 2011, and offered to buy remaining shares in 2012. As a result, Hot is a part of Drahi's company, Altice Europe NV, as of 2018.
Hot has been criticized for refusing to provide service to certain areas of Israel, despite being bound by contract to do so. Regions especially lacking are those that are predominantly Haredi and Arab-Israeli, as well as the Arava. Hot responded that it already provided service for 95-98% of the country, and sought an official exemption from providing them to certain areas, where the decision lies with the Communications Ministry.
Hot has been accused of using extortionist tactics in its customer service, including refusal to log customer requests to cancel service, and sending repeated bills after termination of service.
Hot also used to be well known for the longest waiting times for customer service in Israel, they forced to get their await time from hours to 3 minutes and the option to get a callback.