Iliad adds low-cost 4G in French mobile telecoms battle

PARIS Tue Dec 3, 2013 3:51am EST

PARIS Dec 3 (Reuters) - French low-cost telecoms operator Iliad has added a 4G high-speed broadband service to its Free Mobile package without raising the price, firing a fresh broadside at its bigger rivals offering the superfast technology.

Iliad said on Tuesday that its monthly Free Mobile subscription would remain unchanged at 19.99 euros a month including 4G, without a long-term contract.

France's leading telecom operators, Orange, Vivendi's SFR and Bouygues Telecom, have been racing to build fourth-generation mobile networks and sign up customers to new offers featuring five times faster mobile Internet speeds as they fight back against Iliad.

Free Mobile sparked a price war that drove down French mobile prices by 11 percent in 2012, according to telecoms regulator ARCEP, and Iliad has taken a 10 percent market share since January 2012.

Shares in Iliad were up 0.3 percent at 173.75 euros by 0847 GMT, when Orange was 2.7 percent lower at 9.276 euros, Bouygues was down 0.4 percent at 27.595 euros and Vivendi was down 0.7 percent at 18.495 euros. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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