French telecoms group Iliad pays 1.19 billion euros for Italy 5G frequencies

FILE PHOTO: Guests waits before French telecoms operator Iliad the media conference in Milan, Italy, May 29, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

PARIS (Reuters) - French telecoms group Iliad said it paid 1.19 billion euros ($1.4 billion) to buy 5G mobile phone frequencies for Italy, a market it entered this year as it grappled with tougher competition in France.

Italy is one of the first countries in Europe to offer frequencies for 5G services, allowing operators to roll out ultra-fast internet connections to Italian homes and businesses.

Iliad, which has been losing ground in its home market, entered the Italian market in May and has been winning clients, putting pressure on the country’s biggest phone group Telecom Italia and the other operators, Vodafone and Wind Tre.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Susan Fenton