The EBRD is providing a €20 million loan to Bulsatcom EAD for the further roll-out of its LTE/4G mobile broadband network and the expansion of its fibre-optic broadband network in Bulgaria. Especially rural areas are expected to benefit from the wider availability of these state-of-the-art services.
Bulsatcom is a leading broadband and TV provider in Bulgaria. The EBRD funding will allow the company to invest in cutting edge technology which will offer its customers wider and faster broadband services, especially in rural areas. Bulgaria has the third lowest broadband penetration rate in the EU at 34% and in the regions outside the main cities the penetration is even lower.
Daniel Berg, EBRD Director for Bulgaria, said: “We are pleased to support a dynamic and innovative company like Bulsatcom. Our funding will support a major investment programme which will allow Bulsatcom to grow and local customers to enjoy better services and the benefits of increased competition.”
Maxim Zayakov, CEO of Bulsatcom, said: “We are very glad that thanks to this financing, Bulsatcom will be able to provide its customers a better service portfolio and an adequate modern answer to the growing trends of cross-platform media consumption. Moreover, we are proud to be pioneers in providing telecommunication services with local know-how and technology. The future of Bulgaria as a country and the development of its human potential belong to the high-tech companies that promote innovation.”
The EBRD is promoting the knowledge economy with a special focus on information and communications technology (ICT) sector with the aim to improve these services in its countries of operations and enable better access to them. “Investment in the knowledge economy will make a significant difference in the countries where we invest,” says Izzet Guney, EBRD Director of ICT. “It will improve the business environment for innovation, further develop access to information through investment in infrastructure – particularly in the regions – and improve competition.”
Since the start of its operations in Bulgaria in 1993, the EBRD has invested €2.9 billion in 227 projects. Ninety-three per cent of the portfolio is in the private sector. Over the years the Bank’s investments and activities in the country have evolved significantly, in accordance with the Bulgaria’s overall economic development.