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    Reference: 20210442
    Release date: 10 September 2021

    Promoter – Financial Intermediary

    EPIC COMMUNICATIONS LTD

    Location

    Description

    The project concerns investments in the upgrade of the Promoter's mobile network with advanced 4G/LTE, early deployment of 5G, roll-out of fixed very high capacity (VHC) network as well as upgrades to the core network and the IT systems. The project implementation is planned for the years 2021 to 2024.

    Additionality and Impact

    The project contributes to the policy objectives of Innovation and Digitalisation. It concerns investments to upgrade the mobile telecommunications network and initiate the expansion of the fixed telecommunications network operated by the promoter in Malta. Investments in innovative telecommunications infrastructure face an uncertain business model due to significant investment costs in front of uncertain revenue flows, which leads to delayed availability of services with significant economic costs for the consumers. The project will accelerate the deployment of innovative telecommunication technologies and thus generate positive network externalities by enabling more users to benefit from improved and faster access to information and innovative digital services. The project also generates further externalities to other sectors of the economy by supporting innovation and competitiveness. These benefits are not fully captured by the project revenues. The promoter is experienced in the design and operation of telecommunication networks, being the first company offering mobile services in Malta. The promoter has an experienced management team and in-depth understanding of market needs and drivers, which will support project implementation, results delivery and address the market failures. The EIB contribution resides in the diversification, flexibility and positive signaling effect from the financing of thematic projects.

    Objectives

    The Fiber to the Home (FTTH) access component of the project aims to cover the main villages of Malta with FTTH. The project's mobile component foresees deployment of the new generation equipment in order to benefit from the superior roadmap and performance as part of the 5G rollout strategy and plans. At project completion, the Promoter foresees a nationwide 70% coverage of 5G services.

    Sector(s)

    • Telecom - Information and communication

    Proposed EIB finance (Approximate amount)

    EUR 20 million

    Total cost (Approximate amount)

    EUR 43 million

    Environmental aspects

    Investments in fixed and mobile telecommunications projects do not fall under Annex I or II of the EIA Directive 2014/52/EU amending the Directive 2011/92/EU. The systems have limited environmental effects, apart from disturbances during civil work constructions, which will be mitigated by appropriate measures.

    Procurement

    The Promoter has been assessed by the EIB as being a private company not subject to EU rules on public procurement or concessions. However, if at the project appraisal, the EIB were to conclude that the Promoter is subject to EU public procurement legislation then the Bank would duly inform the Commission Services and would require the Promoter to apply those rules.

    Status

    Signed - 22/04/2022

    Disclaimer

    Before financing approval by the Board of Directors, and before loan signature, projects are under appraisal and negotiation. The data provided on this page is therefore indicative and cannot be considered to represent official EIB policy (see also the Explanatory notes).

    Related tags

    Malta Telecom