JERUSALEM, May 22 (Reuters) - Partner Communications , Israel's second-largest mobile phone company, reported a steeper than expected rise in quarterly profit that was boosted by lower operating expenses.
Partner said on Monday it earned 51 million shekels ($14 million) in the first quarter, up from 14 million a year earlier. Operating expenses declined 19 percent amid a network sharing agreement with rival HOT Mobile.
Revenue dipped 18 percent to 803 million shekels as Partner and its peers continue to battle fierce competition.
It was forecast to earn 26 million shekels on revenue of 839 million shekels, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.
Partner lost 28,000 subscribers in the January-March period to 2.66 million.
The company said that during the quarter it started to deploy a 4.5G network, also known as LTE Advanced, as well as a fixed-line fibre optic network that will allow for surfing speeds of up to 1G and support new 4K technology television.
Partner, seeking for new revenue streams, noted that in the coming weeks it plans to launch its long-awaited TV service that will be based on the Android TV operating system.
$1 = 3.5846 shekels Reporting by Steven Scheer