Xavier Niel smilingXavier Niel's Free Mobile offers a 100-gigabyte cap on their 20 euro service, which Jennie bought in Paris. For 20 euros, Telecom Italia offers 5-10  gigabytes. With Free soon to turn on Italy's fourth network, competitor Fastweb brought down prices to compete. In Canada, all three carriers brought prices down before the fourth entered so I expect TI and Vodafone to also adjust prices.

Xavi changed the European Internet when he offered triple play in France for 30 euros. Germany's regulator, Mathias Kurth, told me he pressed his companies to come closer to France's price. The lower mobile prices are slowly spreading to other countries. T-Mobile Netherlands recently went "unlimited" although DT hasn't done that in that in Germany, which recently went from 4 to 3 carriers. 

The anecdotal evidence is strong that prices move 10-20% when a market goes from 4-3 or 3-4 primary carriers.

That was a key reason the U.S. blocked the AT&T takeover of T-Mobile USA. The regulatory approval of a T-Mobile-Sprint deal would be uncertain. 

Iliad has 70 people working in Italy and has budgeted $B to become the fourth mobile carrier in Italy. Iliad has a "10,000km fibre backhaul network, has deployed its core network, set-up roaming, and negotiated interconnection contracts."

Like Ambani's Reliance Jio in India, Xavi is building a state-of-the-art network with costs much lower than the existing players. Vittorio Colao of Vodafone knows he'll have to respond. "When you have a big warship and the pirates are approaching, it makes sense to send out the commandos in the speed boats.” 

With government-backed Open Fiber also building, Italy will eventually catch up to Europe.

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Breaking: Verizon announced 5G to 30M homes. Reporters from the Wall Street Journal to the Albanian Times treated this as big news. I had the story May 2, if I may brag a little. “The decision had been made to go to a one-third to one-half the United States.” Key takeaways: "Every variable tested during the trials came out better than assumed," including 600 meter median reach. 5G mmWave is so cheap capex won't go up.

On the contrary, BT, FT, & DT recently said they would go slow on 5G mmWave (2022-2024 for most.) They already cover nearly their entire country with broadband; Verizon only about one quarter of the U.S. VZ has incentive to build out of market; the Europeans don’t. More below.

London: Princess Leia was here at the Huawei MBBF. Huawei hosted a 5G demo of a woman suspended in space. It wasn’t actually Leia, but you almost expected the highly realistic 3D rendered figure to start saying “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re our only hope.” (It also was on a special 2D screen rather than a hologram floating in mid-air.)

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