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Wireless Infrastructure Group Raise £220m for 5G Mobile and Fibre

Monday, September 24th, 2018 (8:18 am) - Score 1,644

The Edinburgh-based Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG), which builds masts and other fibre optic connected UK mobile infrastructure, has completed a debt fund raising of £220 million that will be used to help mobile operators upgrade and construct new 5G ready wireless networks.

Apparently the new funding (facilities for this extend to 12 years), which involved three global institutional investors (Met Life, Barings and Vantage) together with three UK banks (Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays), will be focused on enabling connectivity in “rural and urban areas together with key transport routes” across the United Kingdom.

The announcement suggests that the funding will focus on small cells and fibre, which sounds similar to the fibre-connected C-RAN (Cloud-Radio Access Network) small cell network that they recently launched alongside O2 in Aberdeen. The fibre optic data links deliver huge capacity to each cell, which in turn help mobile operators to offer much faster mobile broadband speeds; ideal for 4G and future 5G networks.

Scott Coates, WIG CEO, said:

“This new capital raise from blue chip institutions has been structured to expand with our growth and enables WIG to operate with a highly competitive cost of capital. The new facilities will be targeted on fibre and small cells to enable better connectivity both inside buildings where 80% of calls are made and along busy city streets.

Attracting investment with a long-term horizon and neutral-host approach can play a significant role in enabling 5G across the UK. Recent policy initiatives announced in government’s Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review around lightly licensed spectrum and other innovations opens doors for companies like WIG to work with our mobile operator partners to unlock faster investment and enable improved mobile connectivity.”

Margot James, UK Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, said:

“The measures set out in our Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review will drive the large-scale commercial investment in fixed and wireless networks that is vital for the UK to remain globally competitive in a digital world. Wireless Infrastructure Group’s accelerated investment in 5G ready infrastructure will enable greater connectivity and choice for consumers – I look forward to hearing similar good news from the rest of the industry”.

End.

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