European Investment Bank’s €20 million financing for Epic for 5G project

Last Updated on Tuesday, 6 September, 2022 at 9:15 am by Andre Camilleri

Thanks to the EIB support, EPIC will accelerate the roll-out of its 5G network to reach nationwide coverage by 2024 and expand its fibre-optic network by continuing to install its very high-capacity broadband access network in selected areas in Malta.

In the last five years, the EIB has supported telecom and broadband networks worldwide with €11.7 billion worth of financing investment.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) recently confirmed its commitment to support the telecom operator Epic in its mobile network modernization programme, including the continued development of its state-of-the-art 5G mobile infrastructure. Through this support, the EIB is ensuring that Epic can continue its network expansion plan and the roll-out of its 5G network to reach nationwide coverage in the country by 2024. With the investment, Epic is also expanding its pilot project to deploy a very high-capacity Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) infrastructure in selected areas in Malta.

This investment is in line with EIB’s objective to provide and support the development of telecommunication network infrastructure and bridge the digital divide. The project will bring significant benefits to Malta and its inhabitants and regional development, as these broadband connections are needed to be able to reap the full benefits of digitalising economic sectors, such as agriculture, tourism, and commerce. It will also address the development of the core network that will allow Epic to cater to the expected increase in traffic demand and build a more future-proof and effective fibre network to support its mobile network.

Gelsomina Vigliotti, EIB Vice-President, said: “The telecom sector requires significant investments to foster the digital acceleration. Thanks to the EIB support, EPIC Communications Limited will expand both the 5G network to reach 99% coverage in the country and the Fibre-to-the-Home connections to cover one-fourth of the households in Malta.”

Epic CEO Tamas Banyai commented: “This is an important moment not just for Epic but for everyone in Malta as we are building the strongest network with next generation connectivity,” he said. “Our vision is aligned with EIB and the Government of Malta in bringing digital access to every person, home and organisation for a fully connected world.”

Minister for the Economy, European Funds and Lands Silvio Schembri, said: “Today is an important day, not only for Epic, but also for our country. In today’s day and age, connectivity is essential as many businesses switch to a digital infrastructure to be more efficient, resilient and closer to workers and consumers.”

The funding is aligned with the cohesion strategy of the EIB and Malta’s Smart Specialisation Strategy 2021 – 2027, specifically given the important role that digital infrastructures have within any country and the critical transformation of digitalisation to promote innovation activities in Malta.

Over the last five years, the European Investment Bank has provided €11.7 billion for telecom and broadband network investment around the world. This has supported investment by leading telecom operators, including Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, Iliad, Orange, Magyar Telecom, and Eutelsat, and the construction of submarine communications cables to Africa, rollout of national broadband networks, and development of 5G mobile infrastructure.

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