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    Modernised 5G for Malta

    This loan finances the Maltese telecommunication company Epic in modernising the island’s 5G network, providing better coverage and connectivity in a boost for remote working and economic development

    First signature
    EUR 20,000,000
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    € 20,000,000
    Malta : € 20,000,000
    Telecom : € 20,000,000
    Signature date(s)
    22/04/2022 : € 20,000,000

    Summary sheet

    Release date
    10 September 2021
    Signed | 22/04/2022
    Project name
    Promoter - financial intermediary
    Proposed EIB finance (Approximate amount)
    Total cost (Approximate amount)
    EUR 20 million
    EUR 43 million

    The project concerns investments in the upgrade of the Promoter's mobile network with advanced 4G/LTE, early deployment of 5G, roll-out of fixed very high capacity (VHC) network as well as upgrades to the core network and the IT systems. The project implementation is planned for the years 2021 to 2024.

    The Fiber to the Home (FTTH) access component of the project aims to cover the main villages of Malta with FTTH. The project's mobile component foresees deployment of the new generation equipment in order to benefit from the superior roadmap and performance as part of the 5G rollout strategy and plans. At project completion, the Promoter foresees a nationwide 70% coverage of 5G services.

    Additionality and Impact

    The project contributes to the policy objectives of Innovation and Digitalisation. It concerns investments to upgrade the mobile telecommunications network and initiate the expansion of the fixed telecommunications network operated by the promoter in Malta. Investments in innovative telecommunications infrastructure face an uncertain business model due to significant investment costs in front of uncertain revenue flows, which leads to delayed availability of services with significant economic costs for the consumers. The project will accelerate the deployment of innovative telecommunication technologies and thus generate positive network externalities by enabling more users to benefit from improved and faster access to information and innovative digital services. The project also generates further externalities to other sectors of the economy by supporting innovation and competitiveness. These benefits are not fully captured by the project revenues. The promoter is experienced in the design and operation of telecommunication networks, being the first company offering mobile services in Malta. The promoter has an experienced management team and in-depth understanding of market needs and drivers, which will support project implementation, results delivery and address the market failures. The EIB contribution resides in the diversification, flexibility and positive signaling effect from the financing of thematic projects.

    Environmental aspects

    Investments in fixed and mobile telecommunications projects do not fall under Annex I or II of the EIA Directive 2014/52/EU amending the Directive 2011/92/EU. The systems have limited environmental effects, apart from disturbances during civil work constructions, which will be mitigated by appropriate measures.

    The Promoter has been assessed by the EIB as being a private company not subject to EU rules on public procurement or concessions. However, if at the project appraisal, the EIB were to conclude that the Promoter is subject to EU public procurement legislation then the Bank would duly inform the Commission Services and would require the Promoter to apply those rules.


    Before financing approval by the Board of Directors, and before loan signature, projects are under appraisal and negotiation. The information and data provided on this page are therefore indicative.
    They are provided for transparency purposes only and cannot be considered to represent official EIB policy (see also the Explanatory notes).


    Environmental and Social Data Sheet (ESDS) - EPIC MALTA MOBILE AND FIXED NETWORK EVOLUTION
    Publication Date
    22 Feb 2022
    Document language
    Main Topic
    Document Number
    Document Focus
    Environmental Information
    Project Number
    Publicly available
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    News & Stories

    Inside the project

    How and Why

    Supporting Malta’s digital transformation


    • Modernise Malta’s 5G network for better speed, coverage, and connectivity
    • Support tourism, finance, and information technology sectors that are important for Malta’s economy
    • Boost the island’s digitalisation and help it become a digital powerhouse


    • Enable Epic to continue its network expansion and the rollout of its 5G network
    • Deploy ultrafast fibre-to-the-home infrastructure in parts of the island
    • Upgrade over 300 sites with new technology


    A more connected Malta

    • A reliable and robust network attracts investment, boosts productivity and enhances economic competitiveness
    • Malta’s people will be able to access better services and new technologies and applications
    • Improved broadband services will help people work flexibly and add jobs by encouraging more companies to establish themselves in the country.
    We were the first mobile company to bring 4G to Malta, and now it’s time to build a new network. The financing gives us credibility and helps us accelerate the project.
    Antoine Galea

    chief technology officer, Epic

    The improvement of Malta’s physical and digital infrastructure and connectivity is crucial for Malta’s vision.
    Andres Gavira Etzel

    senior engineer, European Investment Bank

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    Wired for the future

    We will upgrade over 300 sites with new technology, allowing us to deploy 5G on the whole island.
    Antoine Galea

    Chief Technology Officer, EPIC

    Imagine that you are on holiday in Malta. You’re visiting Gozo, a small and tranquil island west of the main island. You’re relaxing on one of its nice beaches. Surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters and rugged landscapes, you succumb to a peaceful nap. Startled awake by the setting sun, you need to make your way back to your hotel. But your mobile phone has no network coverage, making it impossible to check the return boat schedule.

    Epic wants to make sure that this doesn’t happen — by bringing better 5G network to the island.

    But modernising mobile infrastructure is costly and challenging. It requires extensive planning, installing new towers or upgrading existing ones, and addressing concerns related to aesthetics and health.

    Having reliable connectivity to download new things and to communicate fast is integral to an island. Malta needs to be connected to the rest of the world to remain competitive and to progress.
    Antoine Galea


    Why a good connection is important?

    The importance of network connectivity cannot be overstated in today's digital age. We rely daily on seamless connectivity to navigate a multitude of tasks, from communication and entertainment to business and education. It also plays a pivotal role in the modern economy by fostering innovation, digital transformation and supporting the green transition. A reliable and robust network can improve remote working, telecommuting and global connectivity, while attracting investment, boosting productivity and enhancing economic competitiveness.

    As a small island nation, Malta relies heavily on sectors such as tourism, finance and information technology. A better network can enhance these sectors by providing faster and more stable connectivity, benefiting businesses, entrepreneurs and visitors.

    ©Flag of Malta. The coat of arms of Castille and Leon on top of the Auberge de Castille (Office of Prime Minister, Valletta)/Shutterstock

    What is 5G?

    5G, or fifth-generation wireless technology, represents a significant advancement in mobile communications. It operates on higher frequency bands, and it aims to create a networks that connects everyone and everything, from people to machines and objects.

    5G also offers:

    • Faster speeds then 4G, enabling quicker downloads, smoother streaming, and reduced latency
    • Reduced latency that is crucial for applications like autonomous vehicles, remote surgery, and augmented reality, where split-second reactions are essential
    • Greater capacity to accommodate a significantly larger number of devices simultaneously, from smart home appliances to industrial sensors
    • More reliable connections even in crowded areas or during peak times
    • Innovative applications, such as augmented and virtual reality experiences, remote telemedicine, and smart manufacturing, ushering in a new era of technological possibilities
    • Lower energy consumption by about 50% to 95% when all data traffic is moved to 5G networks
    Epic’s project will significantly boost the critical transformation of digitalisation to promote innovation activities in Malta.
    Andres Gavira Etzel


    General enquiries and comments

    The EIB is committed to open communication and encourages constructive stakeholder input regarding its activities.
    Enquiries and comments concerning the EIB’s involvement in a project or the financing facilities, activities, organisation and objectives of the EIB, can be sent to the EIB Infodesk.
    Alternatively, the EIB can be contacted through its external offices.
    Queries regarding details of a specific project, in particular when it is under appraisal by the EIB, should preferably be addressed directly to project promoters.

    Media enquiries

    Media-related enquiries can be addressed to the EIB Press Office. Please also visit our Media information section.

    Complaints mechanism

    Any complaint regarding alleged maladministration can be lodged via the EIB Complaints Mechanism. The European Ombudsman acts as an independent external accountability mechanism of the EIB.

    Zero tolerance against fraud and corruption

    The EIB has a zero tolerance policy on fraud or corruption. To report allegations of fraud and corruption relating to EIB-financed projects, please contact the Fraud and Investigation division. All complaints will be treated as strictly confidential and handled in line with the EIB investigation procedures and the Anti-Fraud Policy.

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