Latin America and Caribbean-focused multilateral development bank IDB Invest says it has closed a standby letter of credit for about US$47.5 million to service provider Colombia Móvil (aka Tigo) to support the expansion and upgrade of telecommunications infrastructure in small municipalities in Colombia.
The project, says IDB, will provide mobile broadband to 915 rural areas that are currently without coverage, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of digital connectivity and helping to close the rural-urban access gap.
The project will help improve mobile services, specifically by aiding the transition from basic 3G to 4G LTE broadband in 340 municipalities. This will allow retail and corporate customers to benefit from high-speed data connectivity, in turn facilitating access to digital services, such as e-health, online education, telework and financial services.
IDB Invest says it is also providing advisory services to support the digitalisation of small, rural and agricultural businesses in Caquetá, in the Amazon region. This, says IDB Invest, will improve their productivity, their conservation efforts and the sustainable use of ecosystems.
Two local community groups that work in sustainable agricultural processes led by young farmers are already receiving training on how to use digital tools to improve their service offering.
This is not the first time IDB Invest has put money into upgrading Colombian telecommunications. As we reported at the time, in January last year, IDB Invest offered financial support to Tigo for the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure in 177 localities that did not have access to mobile broadband.
IDB Invest says it is committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. It adds that it has a portfolio of US$16.33 billion in assets under management and 394 clients in 25 countries.