France: Bouygues Telecom signs €350 million financing operation with EIB
6 May 2021
EIB contribution to support deployment of the operator’s mobile sites in France, including 5G sites
First-ever partnership between EU infrastructure financing bank and Bouygues Telecom
Bouygues Telecom has signed its first financing agreement worth €350 million with the European Investment Bank (EIB). This funding will enable Bouygues Telecom to continue the deployment of its ultra high-speed mobile networks across France, including in rural areas, and to achieve the ambitious objectives it has set for itself.
Under its new Ambition 2026 Plan, the operator plans to invest €1.5 billion per year and accelerate its growth in order to become:
The leading alternativemobile operator in France, offering its customers the best possible quality of service. Bouygues Telecom aims to strengthen its position as the second biggestmobile network in France and continue the deployment of its 4G and 5G networks.
A major player in fibre telecoms and significantly increase its share in the fixed market segment, but also in B2B and wholesale fixed telecoms, by investing in its network.
This EIB loan will contribute to strengthening Bouygues Telecom’s mobile network coverage, including in rural areas (target of 28 000 sites in 2023 and around 35 000 in 2026), and to a fourfold increase in the capacity of its mobile radio network by 2026, ensuring better connectivity for the maximum number of people nationwide.
Furthermore, in the fixed market, Bouygues Telecom will double its FTTH coverage from about 17 million connections at the end of 2020 to a target of 35 million by the end of 2026 (with an intermediate target of 27 million at end-2022) and will invest in fixed equipment (modems, TV set-top boxes, etc.) to anticipate the increased usage and growth of its customer base.
Bouygues Telecom’s gross investment between 2021 and 2026 will create significant value
“We are delighted with this financing agreement with the EIB. Bouygues Telecom has major ambitions for the coming years in the mobile and 5G sectors and wishes to open up French regions by reducing the digital divide. The EU bank’s stated support for this vast industrial project validates our choices and confirms the relevance of our strategy,” said Christian Lecoq, Vice-President in charge of Finance and Procurement at Bouygues Telecom.“Our mobile 5G network will play a leading role in the digital transformation of French companies and we will do our utmost to continue to provide them with an excellent quality of service. We are therefore investing now in a network to meet the challenges that tomorrow will bring.”
“Supporting innovation and infrastructure for new technologies that are key to the digital transition is one of the main tasks of the bank of the European Union. So I am very pleased tosee this initial partnership with Bouygues Telecom focused on 5G come to fruition,” said EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle. “For a successful transition, all French regions must be able to benefit from the rapid deployment of new mobile networks to enhance the regions’ attractiveness and make people’s lives there easier,”he added.
Bouygues Telecom stands out as a global communications operator by providing its 22.9 million customers with the best technology every day. The excellence of its 4G and 5G networks and its fixed and cloud services enable its customers to enjoy their digital lives simply and fully, wherever they are.
The EIB and Cellnex Telecom have signed an agreement for the development of new investment making it possible to improve and expand the capacity of mobile broadband telecoms infrastructure in Spain and Italy. The EIB support – provided via financing of EUR 100m – will help the construction of new telecoms towers as well as fibre optic and radio link connections to mobile operator networks. The agreement is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe (commonly known as the Juncker Plan).