Vodafone Italia responded to aggressive pricing by newcomer Iliad by launching discount brand Ho, offering higher data allocations at a much cheaper price than its standard tariffs, La Repubblica reported.

Ho will launch with an offer of 30GB and unlimited calls and texts for €6.99 per month, matching the data allocation of Iliad’s opening deal but charging €1 more. It represents a huge discount per GB compared to Vodafone’s cheapest branded deal of €9.99 for unlimited minutes and 2GB of data.

The new brand is yet to be formally announced by Vodafone so it remains unclear if the 30GB allocation is 3G or 4G data, or if any restrictions apply.

Iliad promised to shake-up the Italian market ahead of its May launch and burst onto the scene with its opening offer for the first million customers, which drastically undercut rivals.

The price positioning of Iliad’s tariff was no surprise given the tactics used in the France, and several Italian operators increased data allocations and introduced deals in a pre-emptive bid to lessen the impact.

Since Iliad’s launch its three MNO rivals’ defensive measures have continued. Telecom Italia is currently offering 20GB for €10 per month for the first three months after signing a new deal, while Wind Tre announced in early June it was giving customers 20GB for free to use during the summer.

Standard prices – including for Vodafone’s core brand – have been slashed across all operators through a number of special deals and discounts for existing and new customers.