French Telco Iliad will offer fixed-line service in Italy following a deal with broadband operator Open Fiber.
Italy has historically not been a particularly prominent market for foreign telcos given the landline sector’s difficulty to attract new customers. However, renewed interest has been seen while the nation has been in lockdown.
With the sector improving, Iliad is advancing its plans to offer fixed-line services in the country.
The company has offered mobile services since 2018, amassing over 5.5 million customers. It previously said it had plans to enter the fixed line sector by 2024 but will now offer FTTH connectivity to customers in 271 cities thanks to a non-exclusive deal with state-backed Open Fiber.
Reuters reports that the nature of the deal will mean that the group will be able to negotiate similar deals with other operators.
Benedetto Levi, CEO of Iliad’s Italian business, said: “Growing demand for fixed connectivity over the past few months has driven us to accelerate towards our debut in the fixed segment and the agreement with Open Fiber is the first step in that direction.”
The entry of Iliad into Italy’s fixed-line market follows a similar launch from Sky Italia last month, with the Comcast-owned operator making its first foray into broadband in continental Europe.
The news also increases pressure on Telecom Italia, which is fast losing its grip on an increasingly competitive Italian market.
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