Iliad’s Italian odyssey has seen a new chapter emerge with the company’s mobile customer base now surpassing the 10-million mark. The milestone was reached just shy of its fifth anniversary in Italy’s competitive telecom landscape.
Disrupting the Italian Telecom Market
The French disruptor has caused significant shifts in the Italian mobile market since it first launched operations. Its 12.2% share of the Italian mobile market reflects an impressive growth in just five years, according to regulator Agcom’s 2022 report. The telco’s growth has been exponential, increasing 1.3 percentage points year-on-year.
While Iliad continues to expand its customer base, its more established rivals are grappling with the erosion of their larger market shares. Wind Tre and TIM each lost almost a percentage point over the same period, putting them at 25.6% and 24.7% market shares respectively. Vodafone also experienced a slide, shedding half a percentage point to 22.6%.
The Iliad Recipe for Success
Iliad attributes its success to a potent blend of “innovation, simplicity and transparency”. The company prides itself on its transparent price plans and the absence of hidden costs. Boasting a 99% customer satisfaction score according to Doxa data, Iliad’s customer-centric strategy seems to be paying off.
However, let’s not gloss over the fact that Iliad offers cheaper services than its rivals, leading to notable impacts on the wider market.
Agcom’s Latest Market Analysis
Agcom’s recent numbers confirm a consistent decline in mobile devices and services costs over the past few years, despite rising consumer prices. Major operators are feeling the strain of a highly competitive market, which is slowly starting to find its equilibrium. Notably, TIM reported a trend of improvement despite continuing drops in revenue and earnings in Q1.
Iliad’s Financial Health
Despite its aggressive pricing strategy, Iliad’s financial situation seems promising. The company reported a 12.6% year-on-year increase in Italian revenues to €241 million for the first quarter of 2023, while consolidated EBITDAaL grew by an impressive 61% to €64 million. With a reduction in capex compared to Q1 of the previous year, Iliad Italia generated a positive operating free cash flow of €5 million.
The Next Step for Iliad
Looking forward, Iliad’s continued momentum, especially against a backdrop of increased convergence, remains uncertain. There have been rumours of talks with Vodafone regarding a possible alliance in Italy. Moreover, Iliad has collaborated with market leader Wind Tre to establish a wholesale operator extending mobile coverage to hard-to-reach areas.
As the Italian market undergoes significant changes, in large part due to structural separation plans being put into action by Wind Tre and TIM, we expect Iliad to adapt and innovate to maintain its competitive edge. Iliad’s growth story in Italy serves as a testament to its disruptive business model and its resilience in one of Europe’s most competitive mobile markets.