Iliad reported a 7 per cent increase in revenue for the first quarter of 2015 due to strong mobile sales, and confirmed its target of achieving more than 10 per cent group EBITDA growth for the year as a whole.
Iliad said its Free Mobile business achieved a market share of 15 per cent by the end of 2014 and is targeting a share of 25 per cent in the long term.
Iliad lived up to its promise of launching a new offer for Free fixed-line subscribers, but fears that the company's Free Mobile unit would start yet another price war on the French mobile market appear to be unfounded--at least for now.
France has been a highly interesting market to watch since January 2012, when enfant terrible Free Mobile launched its low-cost mobile plans and changed competition on the mobile market forever. Since then we have seen the emergence of new brands such as Sosh and a price war that continues to have repercussions for all market players.
Altice is reportedly stepping up its plans to buy the country's third-largest operator in a move that would further consolidate France's telecoms market.
Bouygues Telecom looks set to face another difficult year after analysts revised previous EBITDA forecasts downwards for 2014 and said they expect to see further declines in earnings in 2015.
France's telecoms regulator Arcep has awarded spectrum in the 1800 MHz frequency band to Free Mobile, which will be able to use the airwaves for the expansion of its LTE network across the country.
NJJ Capital, the private holding company of France-based Iliad founder Xavier Niel, agreed to buy Orange Switzerland from funds advised by Apax Partners for CHF2.8 billion (€2.3 billion/$2.9 billion).
Altice completed an acquisition of mobile operator SFR on Thursday, marking the launch of a new fixed and mobile powerhouse on France's telecoms market.
Altice CEO Dexter Goei has further stirred up the telecoms market consolidation debate in France after he made it clear that the company would be more than interested in buying Bouygues Telecom.