Quito, Ecuador, February 29, 2016 —
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of
the World Bank Group, has granted a loan of US$75 million to Otecel S.A.,
(a subsidiary of Telefónica SA in Ecuador). This loan will enable the company
to, among other things, make the second of three payments to the Ecuadorean
state for the 4G LTE spectrum assigned in 2015.
The loan from IFC will help Otecel expand
its mobile broadband services in Ecuador, including in regions that traditionally
have had little access to such services. This loan is the most recent example
of the commitment by IFC and Telefónica to the sustainable development
of Ecuador. The additional spectrum will allow Otecel to continue expanding
its services in the country, which helps promote the sustainable development
of the economy. The last payment for the spectrum will be made toward
the end of 2016.
“Otecel thanks IFC for the confidence that
it has shown and which allows it to meet its obligations to the state with
respect to the 4G LTE spectrum concession,” said José Manuel Casas, CEO
of Telefónica Ecuador. “This level of support from IFC is evidence
of the the transparency, effective management, commitment, and quality
of service that Telefónica offers to its 5 million customers in the country
and to the more than 315 million clients across the world. We are
proud that our 4G LTE network is now the largest in Ecuador, as our commitment
is to deliver technology and the possibility that it brings to more and
more people,” noted Casas.
“This new investment by IFC is part of our
commitment to the sustainable development of Ecuador and is intended to
boost a sector that is fundamental for the country’s economy,” stated
Carlos Leiria Pinto, head of IFC for the Andean Region. “For IFC, supporting
the development of the telecommunications sector is vital for promoting
growth in emerging economies. A number of studies have demonstrated
that a 10 percent increase in broadband coverage can lead to an increase
of 1.5 percent in a country’s gross domestic product,”” said Guillermo
Mulville, who heads the IFC’s telecom team for Latin America and the Caribbean.
IFC’s strategy in Ecuador is centered around
the supply of financing and technical assistance to companies that have
a strong positive impact on the sustainable growth of the economy. This
strategy also seeks to support projects in the area of climate change,
or which generate jobs and benefit marginalized sectors of the population.
IFC support programs in Ecuador began when the country became a member
of the institution in 1956. Since then, IFC investments in the country
have amounted to approximately US$540 million.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create opportunity where
it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing
countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an
essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Telefónica Ecuador:
Since 2004, Telefónica has been working in
a transparent and ethical manner to develop telecommunications in Ecuador.
Currently, it connects over 5 million Ecuadorians with innovative
mobile services, thereby generating a network of productivity and equity
for more than 100,000 families. Telefónica is considered by M.E.R.C.O.
as the Most Respected Company in the telecommunications sector and GPTWI
has rated it as the Best Place to Work in Ecuador over the past decade.
Llorente & Cuenca has dubbed it one of the most influential companies
on the Web. It works through the Telefónica Foundation to bridge
the digital divide in the country, with more than 48,000 beneficiaries
of its educational projects. For more information, see www.telefonica.com.ec