UPDATE 2-Telecom Italia steps up investment as broadband demand grows
* H1 EBITDA 3.63 bln euros, missing expectations for 3.76 bln
* Q2 domestic underlying EBITDA down 2.7 pct vs 4.8 pct in Q1
* H1 investments rise 26 pct to 2.1 bln euros (Adds investment plans, comment by analyst, share price)
By Danilo Masoni
MILAN, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia has stepped up spending on modernising its networks to exploit growing demand for broadband services, it said on Friday, as it prepares for a changing mobile market with the merger of rival network operators Wind and 3 Italia.
In the first set of results since Vincent Bollore's French media group Vivendi became its largest investor, Italy's biggest phone group said first-half investments rose 26 percent to 2.1 billion euros and a shift into providing media content was starting to bear fruit.
Chief Executive Marco Patuano has signed deals with TV firms Netflix, Sky and Mediaset to help return its domestic business to growth in 2017 and end years of focusing on cutting debt.
"Our agreements with national and international TV players are driving the demand for ultra (fast) broadband connection," he said in a statement on Friday.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged 7 billion euros in public money to help roll out super-fast cables across the country, in a priority project he believes will help revive Italy's economy after three years of recession. Continuación...