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Iliad Gains Again

6:00 PM -- French alternative operator Iliad (Euronext: ILD), which markets its triple-play services under its Free brand, has had another successful half-year, adding 230,000 new customers during the first six months of 2008. (See Iliad Reports Q2.)

It now has a total of 3.12 million, which gives it a near 20 percent share of the French residential DSL market. National operator Orange (NYSE: FTE) reported 7.84 million DSL subscribers when it reported its second-quarter numbers last week.

And Iliad says 2.6 million of those broadband subscribers are unbundled and receiving their services through Iliad local exchange infrastructure, and therefore are able to receive, and are paying for, the company's full triple-play package of Internet access, VOIP, and IPTV. Under Light Reading rules, that should leave Iliad still top of the pile in the Top Ten: IPTV Carriers. (See French Dominate IPTV Top Ten.)

Iliad's broadband total will rise further when it completes the acquisition of Telecom Italia (TIM) 's French broadband operations, a purchase for which Iliad has just arranged some new debt agreements. (See Iliad Closes In on $1.3B Acquisition and Iliad Raises Debt Funding.)

Iliad's first-half revenues were up nearly 21 percent year-on-year to €692.2 million (nearly $1.1 billion). The company will announce its margins and profit numbers on August 28. Its share price rose slightly, by about 0.5 percent, to €69.76 today.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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