EGYPT – Telecom Egypt (TE) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the European Union (EU), have inked an agreement to secure a medium-term loan of US$162.55 million to expand TE’s 4G broadband network.
The loan will be used to improve TE’s mobile network coverage by deploying around 2,000 new mobile sites and installing additional capacity layers to its existing portfolio of cell towers.
The loan will also help accelerate large-scale investment in mobile networks and ensure affordable access to digital services in Egypt.
The EIB said the loan is the largest the bank has ever provided for a mobile network in Africa.
The work is expected to strengthen the network across Egypt, including in less densely populated areas, and enhance competition and the affordability of services.
“We are pleased to partner with TE, a dynamic group engaged in its ambitious network expansion program to offer a modern and broader access to connectivity throughout Egypt,” said Flavia Palanza, EIB’s director for EU Neighbourhood Countries.
According to Palanza, the EIB’s operations in developing countries received a boost since the start of 2022 through EIB Global, a new branch with a mission of providing finances for development and partnerships outside of the EU amid the ongoing global challenges.
She stressed that Egypt is a key country for the EIB’s work in the EU’s Neighbourhood Countries, with over 40 years of operations in the Egyptian market and around 120 EIB-financed projects.
On the loan agreement, Palanza said the EIB has also allocated US$44.43 billion for projects that focus on digital transformation in the EU and its partner countries, including Egypt.
Egypt’s massive infrastructure projects have succeeded in attracting new foreign investments over the last few years, she noted.
She stressed that initiatives such as Egypt’s Descent Life are very important to improve the livelihood of poorer people and that digitization plays an important part in that.
Initiatives like Decent Life, Palanza said, and new investments in telecommunications, urban transport renewable energy, water, and sanitation, are being implemented across Egypt to foster inclusive and sustainable growth.