The European Investment Bank (EIB) has issued a €300 million ($356 million) loan to support the rollout of 4G and 5G networks in France.
French telco iliad Group will use the loan to deploy its latest generation of mobile networks.
Having financed iliad’s fixed network rollouts for over ten years now, the new loan brings iliad’s total amount of EIB financing to over €1.1 billion ($1.3 billion) since 2009.
iliad Group invests almost 30% of its revenue to modernise its networks every year, making a total of nearly €7.5 billion ($8.9 billion) over the last five years.
The telco is participating in the French government’s New Deal for Mobile programme to ensure it provides the whole of France with digital coverage, including in the most rural areas.
iliad Group now has more than 18,800 mobile sites across Metropolitan France and offers 4G coverage to 97.8% of the French population.
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Ambroise Fayolle, vice-president of the EIB, said: “Supporting innovation and the deployment of new technologies is a priority for the European Investment Bank. That is why I’m delighted to announce this new loan granted to the iliad Group.
“In the current health crisis, it is more important than ever for everyone, everywhere, to have access to reliable and high-quality connectivity. By granting this loan to iliad we are supporting the development and appeal of France’s regions, particularly for rural and isolated areas.”
Thomas Reynaud, CEO of the iliad Group, adds: “We’re delighted with this partnership with the EIB, which will enable us to actively pursue the rollout and densification of our mobile networks. Providing the best connectivity to everyone, nationwide, is what we’re working together to achieve at iliad. We intend to pursue our rollouts at a brisk pace, particularly in view of the upcoming launch of our 5G offers and entry into the B2B market.”