French Telco Groups Ogle Google for Wimax Cash

03 July 2008

PARIS: Iliad, a French-headquartered provider of internet and telephony services has reportedly approached Google to seek investment for a planned rollout of its Free wireless broadband network, according to business daily Les Echos.

Iliad/Free is the holder of a government licence to provide Wimax [Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access – high speed wireless internet access] coverage nationwide, a potentially money-spinning venture that also demands an eyewatering infrastructure investment.

The newspaper also reports that ubiquitous entrepreneur Vincent Bolloré has made a similar approach to the search Goliath for a parallel project across all French départements bar two. In total there are one hundred such administrative units.

The report – which does not name its sources – also states that Bolloré Telecom has been approached by Intel Capital, the chipmaker's global investment arm.

Data sourced from Bloomberg (France); additional content by WARC staff