EBRD invests in mobile tower infrastructure in Western Balkans

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 1/22/2024, Location: Europe

Investment to support the acquisition of mobile towers from Telekom Srbija
EBRD participates in a consortium led by Actis
First independent regional mobile tower group to be established

As part of its drive to support digital transition in the Western Balkans, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has joined a consortium of international investors led by Actis, a leading global investor in sustainable infrastructure. The consortium, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), will acquire approximately 1,800 mobile towers from Serbian state-owned telecoms operator Telekom Srbija that are spread across Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia.

The project will establish the first independent mobile tower group headquartered in the Western Balkans. In line with international best practice, the new company will facilitate enhanced infrastructure sharing between mobile network operators in the region. Increased tower sharing, also known as colocation, will contribute to the development of mobile technologies, including a swift roll-out of the 5G standard and better network coverage.

Holger Muent, EBRD Head of Telecommunications, Media and Technology, said: “This investment provides the capacity to meet increasing demand for reliable mobile services in the three countries, and enables the transfer of state-owned telecoms infrastructure into private ownership. Supported by strong international investors, the independent mobile tower company will be well-placed to boost innovation and market competition. Furthermore, the transaction will lead to increased efficiency and sustainability of the company’s telecoms infrastructure, as well as facilitate the implementation of best corporate governance standards.”

To date, the EBRD has invested more than €17 billion in the Western Balkans, most of which supported the private sector. The Western Balkans is a priority region for the EBRD, where the Bank remains the largest institutional investor.


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