Spanish operator Cellnex Telecom, Europe’s largest mobile towers company, said it has signed a contract in Barcelona for a new loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support the implementation of next-generation network infrastructure behind 5G rollouts in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Poland. The EUR 315 million commitment will unlock a total investment of EUR 631 million to improve and expand the coverage and capacity of very high bandwidth mobile network infrastructure n both urban and rural parts of the five countries involved.

Cellnex specified that the project will include new telecommunications infrastructure such as mobile phone masts and urban base stations, improvements to enable the infrastructure to be shared by multiple operators, fibre rollout to connect towers to each operator’s network, distributed antenna systems to significantly increase base station capacity and the use of renewable energies and other energy efficiency measures in selected base stations.

The partners, who previously collaborated back in 2017, added that around half of the new masts will be installed in cohesion regions (with per capita income less than 75% of the EU average), helping to close the digital divide and generate socioeconomic benefits in the areas covered. 

In total Cellnex had 111,931 operative sites at the end of March (with a further 18,936 to be rolled out by 2030), including 4,546 in Austria, 1,576 in Denmark, 10,455 in Spain, 24,908 in France, 1,936 in Ireland, 21,576 in Italy, 4,079 in the Netherlands, 15,550 in Poland, 6,431 in Portugal, 12,543 in the UK, 2,906 in Sweden and 5,425 in Switzerland.

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