Xavier Niel Plans to ‘Surprise’ Market If Iliad Enters 4G Sphere

Xavier Niel, the founder of French telco Iliad which markets mobile services through its Free Mobile unit, has said that his company plans to ‘surprise the market’ if and when it takes the plunge into the country’s fledgling 4G market.

Niel said that the group will make an announcement when it is ready, saying cryptically: ‘We will try to provide a surprise one day’.


The Iliad group posted revenues of EUR3.15 billion (USD4.1 billion) for 2012, up 49% year-on-year following the recruitment of 5.21 million mobile customers to its wireless service, launched on 10 January 2012. Despite the company’s wireless operations being less than a year old, they already account for more than a quarter of the group’s sales. Even more impressively, during the fourth quarter of 2012, Iliad’s 800,000 net wireless additions represented a 67% share of the entire country’s new subscribers during that period, according to data from French telecoms regulator Arcep.

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