OREANDA-NEWS. The Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Jan Vapaavuori, has signed a EUR 150 million loan with the telecom operator Elisa for the upgrading and expansion of its mobile network in Finland and Estonia. During his official visit to Finland, Vice-President Vapaavuori also spoke alongside the Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipil? at an event about the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

The large-scale rollout of 4th generation Long-Term Evolution (4G/LTE) mobile networks will enable high-speed mobile broadband services to be provided to more people, particularly in rural and remote areas in Finland and Estonia. This adds to the current 97% population coverage for 4G services. Elisa’s modernisation investments supported by the EIB will also strengthen transmission networks to cope with increasing data traffic and improve the overall quality of service. Thanks to the deployment of more efficient multi-service nodes, overall CO2 emissions will decline.

EIB Vice-President Jan Vapaavuori said: “The European Investment Bank fosters smart growth and strongly supports the development of an economy based on knowledge and innovation. We therefore particularly welcome this agreement with Elisa, as its investment will not only enable the mobile broadband market to grow but will also provide first-class services to meet future demand.”

Elisa CEO Veli-Matti Mattila: “Elisa is a forerunner in mobile development in Finland and Estonia. Finland already has the highest mobile data usage in the world with very low prices. The Internet of Things will multiply the need for data in the near future as even more devices are connected to the Internet and video transmission increases. ICT and online solutions are also environmentally sustainable. This investment loan from the EIB enables us to further increase data speeds and network capacity for new services and applications. We are also actively involved in developing 5G speeds.”

The project will contribute to the ’Digital Agenda for Europe’ flagship initiative through the further development and expansion of mobile telecommunications infrastructure, a key platform for the provision of advanced mobile and broadband services, and will help to meet the target of broadband coverage at 30 Mbps or more for 100% of EU citizens by 2020.