The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing EUR 110 million to ZON OPTIMUS to support investments to enhance high speed mobile broadband services in Portugal. EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez and Miguel Almeida, ZON OPTIMUS’ CEO, signed the corresponding finance contract in Lisbon today.
EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez stressed the operation’s importance: “This loan will contribute to foster the competitiveness of the Portuguese market for mobile communications also in compliance with the Banks’ objective to support a strong knowledge economy based on fluid information flows, to the benefit of sustainable and more sophisticated growth. This is the second EIB loan to the ZON OPTIMUS group over the last five years, evidencing the excellent cooperation between the two institutions”.
ZON OPTIMUS’ CEO, Miguel Almeida, said that “this EIB loan will strongly support ZON OPTIMUS in the further development and competitiveness of our Next Generation Network and it is particularly relevant for our Group at a time when we are actively integrating our fixed and mobile Infrastructures as a result of our recently completed merger. We are proud to benefit from the continued commitment of EIB to our Group since 2009. ZON OPTIMUS is one of the first integrated cable and mobile groups in Europe and we believe this combination is instrumental to driving convergence, whilst continuing to deliver high quality, innovative and relevant solutions for our consumers “.
The project consists of the investments necessary for the roll-out of mobile network equipment and systems for the current 3G (UMTS with HSPA) and the new 4G (Long Term Evolution-LTE) technologies. The project will help to improve access to broadband services, increase operating efficiency and reduce costs as well as foster competition in the telecoms sector. The project will also foster economic and social cohesion as parts of the investments financed are located in convergence regions throughout Portugal.
For the EIB, this loan falls within the wider context of the Europa 2020 Strategy to promote smart growth and develop a knowledge and innovation-based economy. A key element is the “Digital Agenda for Europe" initiative, since efficient high-speed networks are vital for the reliable and rapid transfer of constantly growing data volumes. As EU objectives, knowledge economy and economic and social cohesion are both priorities for the Bank.
La Banque européenne d’investissement (BEI) et la Société Nationale des Autoroutes du Maroc (ADM), chargée de construire, exploiter et entretenir les autoroutes du Maroc, ont annoncé la conclusion d’un contrat de financement de 85 millions d’euros (environ 925 millions de dirhams) pour accélérer la digitalisation des infrastructures de transport autoroutières dans le pays. Ce projet contribuera à améliorer la fluidité du trafic à travers la digitalisation des systèmes de paiement et l’installation de systèmes de télépéage. Il contribuera à réduire les coûts et le temps de voyage et renforcera la sécurité des utilisateurs tout en offrant de nouveaux services personnalisables. Cette opération prévoit également le déploiement d’un système de suivi et de gestion du trafic qui donnera accès en temps réel aux conditions de circulation sur l’ensemble du réseau autoroutier.
S.E.M. Clément Mouamba, Premier ministre de la République du Congo, a souligné ce jour un nouvel engagement de la BEI visant à accélérer les investissements dans la transition numérique et à améliorer l’accès au financement pour l’ensemble des acteurs économiques du pays.
The EIB is providing €7.5 million to Cortical.io AG, an Austrian software company developing innovative artificial intelligence technology based on a Natural Language Understanding (NLU) approach that can interpret and process human language text. The software is capable of performing search and analysis based on meanings of words or sentences. Its current applications include smart search and classification of information in contracts and emails. Cortical.io’s technology can search, extract, annotate and analyse key information from unstructured text – even with specialised vocabulary – across multiple languages and business sectors, and the company has already started developing standardised products to speed up deployment of the technology. The EIB financing will cover research and development (R&D) as well as operational investments supporting Cortical.io’s growth.