The French telecommunications provider Iliad, that provides fixed and mobile telephony services, prepaid phone cards, Internet access and hosting services, has signed a new $356 million loan deal with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to help the Iliad Group finance its mobile network deployment in France, in particular to consolidate its 4G network and deploy its 5G network.
Since 2009, the EIB has financed Iliad, and with this new loan the total financing exceeds $1.3 billion. Having helped finance the development of the Iliad fixed network for more than a decade, the EIB is once again working with the group to provide financial support for the company’s latest generation of mobile networks. There was little information on what exactly the latest loan would be used for, but Iliad said it is devoted to providing digital coverage to the whole of France, including most rural areas.
Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the EIB, commented: “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.”
According to Iliad, its networks are a top priority, as it invests 30% of its revenue annually, totaling nearly $8.9 billion over the past five years. The company currently has more than 18,800 mobile sites in cities of France and offers 4G coverage to 97.8% of the population.
Thomas Reynaud, Chief Executive Officer of the Iliad Group, said: “We’re delighted with this partnership with the EIB, which will enable us to actively pursue the rollout and densification of our mobile networks. 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.”