What is Iliad, the new mobile phone company

The French company is ready to enter the Italian mobile phone market with advantageous rates including unlimited calls, SMS and Internet

The merger between Wind and 3 Italia has left a free space in the mobile phone market in our country. A space that will soon be filled by Iliad, a French phone company, active in the transalpine market with the brand Free Mobile.

As it happens across the border, also in Italy Free Mobile (or Iliad, still uncertain the brand used in our country) should distinguish itself for its low-cost approach. In France, for example, it was the first operator to guarantee the 4G connection service free of charge to customers. There is curiosity to understand if the arrival of Iliad in our country will have the same effect that it had in France in recent years. The low rates, in fact, pushed several transalpine competitors to create new monthly plans very advantageous for consumers, to try to stem the success had in the first period by the same Iliad. At the beginning of 2016 the mobile operator could count on a user base formed by more than 11 million customers.

What is Iliad

As mentioned, Iliad is a French company, based in Paris, founded by Xavier Niel in July 2007. The company bought the first 3G frequencies in 2009 and the first 4G frequencies in 2011. Since its creation. Iliad has distinguished itself for very advantageous offers and in sharp contrast to the costs of other operators. There is still no certain news of Iliad rates for Italy but it is very likely that, at least initially, promotions of this kind are offered to Italian users. In France Iliad has entered the market with promotional offers limited in time, with plans including unlimited minutes, SMS and at least ten GB of Internet at just under five euros.

Iliad rates and offers

Although the French virtual operator is not yet active in Italy, rumors are starting to leak out about possible Iliad rates and offers. According to the usual well-informed, Ilaid should present itself at the starting ribbons (summer 2018) with two offers, able to satisfy even the most "refined" palates. The basic Iliad offer provides a plan composed of 500 minutes, 500 SMS and 5 GB of internet traffic at 2.90€ per month; the top offer, instead, will guarantee unlimited minutes, SMS (not unlimited) and 30 GB of data traffic at a cost of 9.90€ per month.

The initial coverage

Since the official presentation of the Iliad plan for Italy, which took place in 2017, there has not been much certain information. For sure there is the French company has already started preparing its physical stores in our country. The last in chronological order in Mestre, while the first two had been prepared in two shopping centers in Rome. Remains instead some doubt about the initial coverage of the service. At the moment Iliad has 6.000 repeaters in the different regions of our country, even if they are mainly concentrated in the main Italian cities. This is a very small number compared to the almost 20 thousand of TIM and Vodafone, but the Iliad areas with not excellent coverage will be able to take advantage of roaming on Wind-Tre network. 

The other virtual operators available in Italy

Lately in Italy we are witnessing a continuous proliferation of virtual operators. For those of you who don't know, in telephony, a virtual operator is considered a company that provides mobile phone services without owning any license for the relevant radio spectrum nor necessarily having all the necessary infrastructure to provide such services. Recently, for example, we have seen the football-related offers of Rabona Mobile. But the list of virtual operators with reduced price offers is very long and includes important names as well. For example, there is Fastweb Mobile which relies on the TIM network, while PosteMobile exploits the Wind Tre network. The same TIM hopes to be able to withstand the impact of Iliad's low rates thanks to the new operator Kena Mobile, created directly by the same TIM and which presents low-cost offers. Finally, also Tiscali has created its own virtual operator (Tiscali Mobile) that always relies on TIM's network.