EIB grants Cellnex €315m loan for 5G infrastructure and European transformation

EIB grants Cellnex €315m loan for 5G infrastructure and European transformation

20230724 - NP EIB and Cellnex sign €315 million loan to support 5G infrastructure rollout and European digital transition.jpg

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €315 million finance contract with Cellnex for the development of 5G mobile telecoms infrastructure in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Poland.

The loan will contribute towards a total investment of €631 million to enhance the coverage and capacity of high bandwidth mobile network infrastructure in these countries, helping to speed up the digital transformation in both urban and rural areas.

“This finance contract enables the EIB to support a major project that will help accelerate the European digital transition,” said Ricardo Mourinho Félix, vice president at EIB.

“We are very happy to work with Cellnex on this loan aiming to expand and optimise mobile telecoms infrastructure in five European countries including Spain. This infrastructure —particularly the 5G rollout— is vital to the digital transition and to accelerate access to digital services for all, regardless of location. The agreement signed today will also increase the density of this infrastructure in cohesion regions, contributing to the EIB’s goal to foster economic, social, and territorial cohesion.”

The Cellnex project will include new infrastructure including mobile phone masts and urban base stations, as well as improvements to enable the infrastructure to be shared by multiple operators, fibre rollout to connect towers to each operator’s network, distributed antenna systems to significantly increase base station capacity and the use of renewable energies and other energy efficiency measures in selected base stations.

“This new agreement with the EIB strengthens our partnership with one of the European Union’s most important bodies and shows the company’s commitment to contributing to the digital and technological development of the EU," said José Manuel Aisa, chief financial officer at Cellnex.

"This financing will enable us to continue supporting our clients with the rollout of new sites, ensuring the efficient and seamless deployment of 5G in several countries. We are also very happy with the characteristics of the operation, which has a long maturity and competitive interest rate, allowing us to improve our average debt maturity.”

In addition, the project will contribute to the EU Digital Decade 2030 goals and will promote investment in infrastructure across urban and rural areas of Europe.

Approximately half of the new masts will be installed in cohesion regions (regions where per capita income is less than 75% of the EU average), helping to close the digital divide.

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