Spanish telco infrastructure firm Cellnex has signed a €315 million ($348m) finance contract with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support the development of infrastructure for 5G rollouts across five European countries.

The loan will see Cellnex upgrading its infrastructure in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and Poland.

– European Investment Bank/Cellnex

In a joint statement, the duo said the loan will mobilize a total investment of €631m ($698m) to improve and expand the coverage and capacity of very high bandwidth mobile network infrastructure across the five countries.

Cellnex plans to invest in infrastructure in both urban and rural areas, doing so with new telecoms infrastructure such as mobile phone masts and urban base stations, plus improvements to existing sites.

“This finance contract enables the EIB to support a major project that will help accelerate the European digital transition,” said EIB vice president Ricardo Mourinho Félix.

“We are very happy to work with Cellnex on this loan aiming to expand and optimize mobile telecoms infrastructure in five European countries including Spain. This infrastructure — particularly the 5G rollout — is vital to the digital transition and to accelerate access to digital services for all, regardless of location. The agreement signed today will also increase the density of this infrastructure in cohesion regions, contributing to the EIB’s goal to foster economic, social, and territorial cohesion.”

The project will promote investment in the infrastructure needed for the digital transition across urban and rural areas of Europe.

Around half of the new masts will be installed in regions where per capita income is less than 75 percent of the EU average, and is aimed at closing the digital divide.

Cellnex manages around 130,000 sites across Europe, in a number of countries including Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and Poland.

Earlier this month Cellnex snapped up the remaining stake of telco infrastructure company OnTower Poland that it did not own, paying €510 million ($556m) to buy the remaining 30 percent stake.

Towards the end of last year, the company finalized its acquisition of CK Hutchison's towers business in the UK. It was part of a wider 2020 transaction by Cellnex to acquire CK Hutchison's telecommunication sites in six European countries for a combined total of €10 billion ($10.9bn).