French broadband provider and start-up mobile operator Iliad (Free) has gone to the bond markets for the first time, raising EUR500 million (USD698.5 million) as it looks to diversify its funding sources. Iliad, which markets its services in the country under the Free banner, is carrying out major network investments as it readies itself for the launch of cellular services next year and continues to deploy fibre-optic broadband services to end users. The group’s CFO Thomas Reynaud said Iliad is growing quickly and has reached sufficient maturity to source funds on the bond markets. However, Iliad does not have a credit rating, said Reynaud, nor does it plan to seek one. ‘The fact that this bond issue was successful shows that we don’t really need a rating,’ he added.