Iliad is preparing to deploy the same aggressive pricing tactics and contract strategy which saw its Free brand shake up the French market when it launches in Italy, Reuters reported.

The company is expected to launch its Italian brand later this year or early 2018, using assets sold to it as part of a deal to merge the Italian units of CK Hutchison and Veon (formerly named VimpelCom), which began operating in January.

Sources told Reuters Iliad would adopt an aggressive pricing strategy and introduce simplified contracts for consumers when it launches in Italy.

Initial reports on Iliad’s Italian launch suggested the company aimed to secure a 15 per cent share of the market. However, sources quoted by Reuters said this target now stood at 25 per cent.

Iliad’s launch in Italy will be the company’s first foray outside of its home market of France, where it launched services in 2012. Iliad sparked a fierce price war as it began undercutting rivals – a situation regulator Arcep said only began subsiding during 2015.

The company recently reported its Free brand’s subscriber base stood at 12.7 million at end-2016, taking its share to 18 per cent by its own estimates. Its target in France is to capture 25 per cent of the market.