French telco Iliad says it is looking to invest EUR1 billion (USD1.2 billion) in its Italian business, with EUR314 million having already been spent. The firm’s CEO Maxime Lombardini also added that there are opportunities in the Italian fixed line sector, though did not disclose further details. Iliad says it will launch its operation in Italy ‘by the summer’, with its backbone infrastructure already in place and interconnection agreements signed with incumbent operators. The firm says that drive tests on its mobile network are now being carried out.
TeleGeography notes that the firm had been expected to make its debut in late 2017 or early 2018, but the launch was put back due to delays in the process of installing a management team. Iliad agreed to acquire a package of spectrum and mobile infrastructure from Wind and 3 Italia in 2016 to clear the way for their merger which took place at the end of the year; to appease regulatory concerns that the tie-up would reduce the Italian cellular market from four to three players, the merging parties sold assets to Iliad in a EUR450 million transaction.