IIC backs Paraguay broadband expansion

The IDB’s private sector arm is providing a $73m loan guarantee to Telefónica Celular del Paraguay to expand 3G and establish 4G access.

Paraguay’s broadband network has gotten a boost from the Inter-American Investment Corporation, as the agency will provide a 402 billion guaraní ($72.6 million; €63.6 million) loan guaranteed to Telefónica Celular del Paraguay to support broadband deployment.

The loan will help the telecom firm, known as Tigo, expand the country’s existing 3G network, while also establishing 4G coverage in Asuncion as well as nearby Ciudad del Este, San Lorenzo and surrounding areas.

IIC, the private sector arm of the Washington DC-based Inter-American Development Bank, said the financing deal has an “innovative structure”. It utilises the resources of the country’s Social Security Institute (IPS) while using the IDB’s AAA credit guarantee to cover the entirety of the former’s credit exposure.

“This collaboration mechanism between the IDB and the IPS allows the institute not only to channel public savings towards private sector investments but also to diversify its short-term resources,” the IIC said.

The project will target improvements to rural broadband access and business services, the group said, while also enabling telecentres to provide high-speed access to police, health and education facilities.