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European Bank Lends to Fund Paraguay GSM Expansion

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing EUR68.5 million (USD106.9 million) to Millicom subsidiary, Telef nica Celular del Paraguay SA (Telecel) to part finance the expansion of its GSM network structure. The remaining funds are being provided by commercial banks and Telecel's own resources.

Telecel has been present in the Paraguay telecom market since 1992, when it launched mobile services based on analogue technology. The company decided in 2004 to migrate to GSM technology to accelerate subscriber growth and to enhance Telecel's competitive position in the mobile market. This investment project will allow coverage of all cities with more than 5 000 inhabitants and further increase the population coverage to about 83%; this is particularly important in a country with a very low fixed-line density (eight mobile phones for one fixed line). The investment project will be completed in 2009.

The project will bring big economic benefits to the country, as efficient communication plays a key role in enabling the development of commercial activities.

The EIB is extending this loan in the context of the current lending mandate for Asia and Latin America. This will be the first EIB operation in Paraguay.

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Tags: european investment bank  millicom  Paraguay