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4:09 pm on 4 August 2022, Thursday
International Finance Corp. (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, said Thursday it will invest in Communication and Renewable Energy Infrastructure (CREI) Phils. Inc. in a bid to bridge the digital divide through shared mobile infrastructure.
More people and businesses in the Philippines will have affordable and better mobile connectivity through a $70 million financing package, IFC said in a statement.
The $70 million financing package consists of a $25.5 million loan from IFC and a parallel facility of $44.5 million.
IFC’s investment will allow CREI Phils, a new tower company in the Philippines, to fund the construction of over 600 new towers by next year.
For the first time in the country, these towers will be shared under an open-access basis.
Aside from creating a competitive market for tower collocations,IFC said the loan will help increase mobile network capacity, allowing operators to expand high-speed mobile networks (4G and 5G) across the country and offer better services at affordable rates.
According to the 2020 Global Digital Overview, the number of internet users in the Philippines has more than tripled from 23 million (2010) to 73 million (2020).
Yet, the quality of mobile connectivity is inadequate given its pervasive network congestion. The country ranks 95th out of 142 countries for mobile internet download speed.