Iliad gains Altitude

6 Sep 2005

French telecoms and internet group Iliad has agreed to buy 100% of Altitude Telecom, holder of the only national WiMAX licence in France, in a deal expected to close by mid-November. The acquisition will see Iliad become the only telephony provider in the French residential sector able to provide nationwide WiMAX services, whilst Altitude’s corporate and public sector arm Altitude Développement will continue operating as a separate entity. Iliad, which uses the ISP brand name ‘Free’, is the second placed player in both the DSL and dial-up access markets, behind France Télécom. At the end of March 2005 it claimed 1.214 million DSL subscribers, or around 18% of the market, and over 335,000 telephony subscribers. It launched ADSL2-based broadband access bundled with carrier pre-selection voice services in June. Altitude Telecom, established in 1995, launched its WiMAX broadband network in September 2004 and claims the status of leader in the 26GHz wireless market.

France, Free