Firm raises £220m to accelerate 5G infrastructure
The UK’s leading independent wireless infrastructure provider has completed a debt fundraising of £220 million to accelerate its investments into 5G wireless infrastructure.
Edinburgh-based Wireless Infrastructure Group’s new funding package involves three global institutional investors – Met Life, Barings and Vantage – together with UK banks Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays.
The facilities extend to 12 years and will support a significant increase in WIG’s capital expenditure into enabling connectivity in rural and urban areas together with key transport routes across the UK.
“This new capital raise from blue chip institutions has been structured to expand with our growth and enables WIG to operate with a highly competitive cost of capital,” said WIG CEO Scott Coates.
“The new facilities will be targeted on fibre and small cells to enable better connectivity both inside buildings where 80 per cent of calls are made and along busy city streets.
“Attracting investment with a long-term horizon and neutral-host approach can play a significant role in enabling 5G across the UK.
“Recent policy initiatives announced in government’s Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review around lightly licensed spectrum and other innovations open doors for companies like WIG to work with our mobile operator partners to unlock faster investment and enable improved mobile connectivity.”
Over the last year WIG has invested in new infrastructure ranging from communication towers serving rural communities through to high capacity Distributed Antenna Systems networks in busy city locations such as offices, shopping malls and stadiums, including Liverpool’s 54,000-capacity ground Anfield.
The new funding supports further delivery of new infrastructure with a focus on small cells and fibre.
WIG is also a major investor in Midlands Future Mobility, the UK’s largest real-world test bed for connected and autonomous vehicles.
Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, said: “The measures set out in our Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review will drive the large-scale commercial investment in fixed and wireless networks that is vital for the UK to remain globally competitive in a digital world.
“Wireless Infrastructure Group’s accelerated investment in 5G ready infrastructure will enable greater connectivity and choice for consumers.
“I look forward to hearing similar good news from the rest of the industry”.
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