Telecom Italia’s chief executive has said he is not worried about the entry of French telecoms group Iliad into the local mobile market, and says his firm is planning ‘counter measures’ to combat the new competition. Iliad made an immediate impact when it entered the French wireless market in January 2012, attracting 2.61 million customers within its first 80 days of operation. But Flavio Cattaneo is quoted by Reuters as saying: ‘Iliad’s entry into Italy does not worry us. Italy is a very different market to France.’ He went on to add: ‘Iliad cannot take advantage of the surprise effect, and from our side there will be counter measures that are adequate and coherent with our positioning in the market.’
Iliad is joining the Italian mobile sector thanks to its acquisition of spectrum and network infrastructure from cellcos Wind and 3 Italia, who plan to merge their operations. The pair agreed to offload a package of assets to enable the entry of a new player and ensure the market remains at four players, thereby allaying regulatory concerns over the deal’s effects on competition. The European Commission (EC) approved the merger at the start of this month. The combined Wind/3 will jump to top spot in Italy’s mobile sector, with around 31 million customers, just ahead of Telecom Italia’s TIM unit and Vodafone Italy.