Iliad has made “significant progress” towards launching a mobile offering in Italy, as sales, profits and customer numbers continued to rise in France.

The operator said it had invested €58 million to secure a backhaul network, deploy its core network, set up roaming solutions and interconnection contracts, and recruit a team in Italy.

However, it did not provide exact details of when it will launch the country’s fourth mobile network.

The company got the green light to establish a rival to TIM, Vodafone and Wind Tre by the European Commission last September.

Iliad provided the update as it revealed revenues in France grew 7.3 percent year-on-year to €2.46 billion in the first six months of the year.

Sales from mobile jumped 10.5 percent to €1.07 billion as the company added 440,000 new subscribers in H1.

Free Mobile now has 13.1 million customers and a market share of 18.5 percent, up 0.5 percentage points between April and June.

Fixed-line revenues increased by a more modest 4.8 percent to €1.39 billion amid what Iliad described as “fierce” competition.

It added 83,000 broadband customers during the period, taking the total subscriber base to 6.5 million.

Of these, 419,000 are signed up to FTTH services and Iliad said it has now connected 5.3 million premises to the technology.

In June, the operator signed a deal with infrastructure provider Axione that gives it access to two million FTTH connections.

Alongside the growth in sales, EBITDA rose 8.2 percent to €875 million as more people signed up to more expensive mobile tariffs.

Net profit leapt by 22 percent to €233 million as a result.

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