MILAN (Reuters) -Iliad launched full-fibre broadband in Italy on Tuesday starting at 15.99 euros ($18.05) a month for existing clients as the French low-cost mobile company presses ahead with its expansion in the country's crowded telecoms market.
Benedetto Levi, head of the telecom company's Italian operations, said subscriptions for customers who are not yet Iliad clients would cost 23.99 euros a month.
Iliad's move is set to intensify its rivalry with former phone monopoly Telecom Italia (TIM), which is weighed down by debt and under pressure to upgrade its broadband network to meet Italy's digital goals.
The French company said its new fibre-to-the-home broadband would have download speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second with upload speeds of 700 megabits per second and would be available in 7.4 million Italian homes.
"We have been receiving for months requests to launch a fibre service from our mobile customers, fed up with the lack of transparency in this market," Levi said in a statement.
Founded by French billionaire Xavier Niel, Iliad entered Italy's mobile phone market in 2018 with low-cost services and now has 8.5 million customers with a market share of over 10.5%.
After shaking up the Italian mobile market, Iliad is now considering potential mergers and acquisitions. Sources told Reuters on Friday that it was exploring a deal to combine its operations with those of Vodafone in Italy.
Asked to comment at a news conference, Levi said: "Since arriving (in Italy) we've followed our own path. Today, we are pressing ahead alone as we have done for the last three-and-a-half years, and will continue on our path."
Separately, Levi told Reuters that Iliad was not ruling out any options in the future.
(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Writing by Giulia Segreti, Editing by Agnieszka Flak and David Clarke)