>@EIB/To be defined

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a SEK 1.8 billion (EUR 200 million) loan to Nordic telecommunications operator Hi3G for the upgrading and expansion of its mobile network in Sweden and Denmark.

The rollout of a new 4G/Long-Term Evolution (LTE) mobile network and the upgrading of the 3G mobile network will enable high-speed mobile broadband services to be provided to more people in both countries. It will lead to increased network coverage and substantially improved data services for the entire 3G network and the new 4G/LTE network in particular (with peak download speeds of up to 130 Mbps).

“The EIB fosters smart growth and strongly supports the development of an economy based on knowledge and innovation. We therefore particularly welcome this agreement with Hi3G. It will not only enable the mobile broadband market to grow, but also lower the cost to end users thanks to increased competition” said Jonathan Taylor, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending in Sweden.

“We are very satisfied with this deal with the EIB. It will not only support our continued roll out of 4G in Sweden and Denmark but will also help us to cover less densely populated areas in Sweden with a high speed 3G network”, added Peder Ramel, CEO Hi3G.

The project will contribute to the “Digital Agenda for Europe” flagship initiative through the further development and expansion of the mobile telecommunications infrastructure, a key platform for the provision of advanced mobile and broadband services, and will help to meet the target of broadband coverage at 30 Mbps or more for 100% of EU citizens by 2020.

Thanks to the investment supported by the EU bank, Hi3G’s 3G population coverage and speed for mobile broadband services will be enhanced, while the LTE population coverage will continue to increase.

In 2013 EIB financing in Sweden amounted to EUR 1.57 billion. Compared to EIB financing in 2012, which amounted to EUR 1.13 billion, this represents an increase of almost 40%. The Bank’s lending in 2013 focused on projects promoting research, development and innovation (RDI) in the industrial sector as well as on sustainable transport.