Iliad has agreed to expand its fiber offering in Italy alongside rival internet operator Fastweb. According to a statement by the companies on Thursday, the telecom giants are looking to capitalize on increased demand for ultra-fast access.
Under the terms of the deal, Fastweb, the Italian subsidiary of Swisscom, will provide access to its ultra-fast fiber network throughout Italy, allowing Iliad to reach over 10 million households by early 2023.
After shaking up the Italian mobile industry with its low-cost offer in 2018, Iliad joined the fixed-line internet sector in January. Previously, the firm, owned by French billionaire Xavier Niel, struck similar fiber partnerships with Telecom Italia and Open Fiber.
Fined in May
The last time Iliad Italia was in the news, it was over making claims deemed to be unclear about its 5G service offering. In May, Italy’s competition watchdog explained that the company was guilty of omitting important information regarding its offers.
The move was seen as misleading customers about the services they were paying for. In addition, the authority pointed to specific mobile plans labeled compatible with 5G but did not have information about the “indispensable conditions” for using the tech.
One of the conditions, or instance, would require that the user be within the geographical coverage area of the operator’s 5G network and buy a smartphone enabled for this specific network.
The competition in Italy is heated
AGCM also chastised Iliad for failing to clear that when roaming in Europe, only 6GB of a 100GB 5G package could be used.
Iliad’s debut in Italy in 2018 sparked a battle with incumbent providers. Parent company Iliad Group allegedly negotiated with WindTre about a network-sharing agreement that might reduce the cost of 5G deployment.
The group also expressed interest in purchasing Vodafone Italy, but the first proposal was rejected. Since then, CK Hutchison has lamented the ongoing fierce competition in Italy, which it blames for a loss in income and consumers at WindTre.