EIB Funds 3G

European Investment Bank loans SEK 1.8B to Investor AB for its Hi3G UMTS construction project in Sweden and Denmark

April 27, 2004

2 Min Read

STOCKHOLM -- The European Investment Bank (EIB) provides a loan of SEK 1800 million to Investor AB for the construction of a third generation UMTS mobile communication project in Sweden and Denmark, one of the first stand-alone UMTS networks to be developed in Europe by a new entrant.

3G systems offer the scope for higher capacities, improved voice quality and faster data transmission speeds than existing GSM networks. This investment will largely contribute to introduce new broadband mobile technology.

The Hi3G project is a joint venture between the Swedish industrial holding company Investor and Hutchison Whampoa. The two partners combine Investor’s extensive knowledge of local markets and relationships with a wide range of Swedish high technology industries with Hutchison’s sector experience. Hutchison has already launched 3G networks in several countries including Italy and the UK and aims at becoming one of the largest 3G operators worldwide.

Sauli Niinistö, Vice-President of the EIB commented, “The project is in line with EU policies of promoting innovation and European leadership in advanced technology such as broadband networks. EIB’s commitment at this turning point in the roll-out of 3G technology serves as a signal of the EU’s support for competition and innovation. Furthermore globally, the Nordic area has been a pioneer in mobile telecommunications. The construction of a new and technologically-advanced network with multiple applications will serve both Nordic consumers and businesses. It is also equally important for the EU-based mobile telecommunications cluster.

The EIB has invested some EUR 20 700 million over the last 10 years in the telecom sector worldwide of which EUR 17 759 million in the EU. Hi3G project is the first 3G project to benefit from the financial support of the EIB. The financing complies with the Lisbon Strategy, which is committed to take forward the conclusions of the Lisbon European Council, aimed at fostering the development of a knowledge and innovation-based European economy. Over a period of ten years, the Bank will have made available over EUR 50 billion in support of the Lisbon Strategy, recently confirmed in the Growth Initiative endorsed by the December 2003 European Council.

Hi3G Access AB

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