UK gets smart meter, Wi-Fi boost as EIB approves Arqiva loan

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Infrastructure provider Arqiva is set to roll out smart metering projects across the north of England and Scotland, launch fresh Wi-Fi projects and expand its digital radio and television portfolios after signing a deal for a €190 million loan.

The European Investment Bank has provided the loan, having lent more than €2 billion during the past five years in long-term loans to support the building of improved infrastructure across Europe. 

Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President commented: “Continued investment in innovative communications technology is essential to improving connectivity, digital literacy, and consumer choice. The European Investment Bank recognises the diverse benefits of investment by Arqiva in the latest transmission equipment that will help reduce energy bills through national use of smart meters and enable dedicated communications for specialist users. This investment builds on the European Investment Bank’s past engagement to support telecommunications across Europe.”

Arqiva signed a deal in May with cellular connectivity provider Sigfox to build 10 dedicated internet of things networks across the UK, using ultra-narrowband technology.

It is hoped that the networks will be able to connect to other Sigfox networks around the world, in countries such as France, the Netherlands and Spain.

Arqiva CFO Phil Moses said: "Reliability and security of our infrastructure is core to our ability to meet the increasing demands for digital connectivity. The investment by the European Investment Bank affords us this long-term commitment to connectivity for everyone.”

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