Vodafone is set to benefit from funding for its network roll-outs in Ireland from the European Investment Bank.
The €140 million loan, which has now been approved in principle by the bank’s board, aims to help the operator install 5G networks in the country.
It will also allow Vodafone to expand the coverage of its current generation of 4G networks in rural and remote areas of the country.
Specific coverage obligations have not yet been set, but will be defined during the upcoming meetings between the operator and the bank to finalise the contract. Further details will follow the negotiations.
The funding was announced as part of an €8 billion package of infrastructure and energy investments, which previously saw Belgian operator Proximus being awarded a €400 million loan.
It hopes to bring fibre broadband to 85 percent of businesses and 50 percent of households in the country.
The EIB’s investment is part of the EU’s Digital Agenda for Europe 2020 strategy, which allows it to support greenfield digital infrastructure projects where it believes they enhance the potential of the European economy. The funding is awarded on a project-by-project basis, with no specific allocations for the telecoms sector.
In July 2017 it provided a €150 million loan to Deutsche Telekom’s Greek subsidiary COSMOTE to expand its broadband network.
In March of the same year it provided €200 million to French telco Iliad to support its FTTH roll-out.