IDB Invest expands mobile broadband access with Telefónica Móviles in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama

  • The project seeks to reduce the digital gap by reducing the large upfront cost of smartphones

IDB Invest, the private sector institution of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, will grant $24 million to a revolving facility to support the cellular financing program of Telefónica of Costa Rica TC, S.A., Telefónica Móviles Guatemala S.A., and Telefónica Móviles Panamá S.A. The program supports the acquisition of mobile phones sold by Telefónica Móviles by offering its customers the possibility of financing their smartphones.

The operation aims to close the digital divide by reducing the initial costs of purchasing mobile phones and increasing access to mobile broadband services. Smartphones are the entry point to mobile broadband, giving consumers access to multiple digital services, such as mobile banking, healthcare and transportation.

The revolving facility is a recurring line of credit that allows companies to use the funds when they are needed, generally for operational use. Between the three countries, the facility totals $24 million and will be available for a period of 48 months.

The project seeks to accompany the adoption and use of smartphones that allows Telefónica's customers purchasing mobile devices in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama to access data services, leading to a positive impact on economic development. Its penetration facilitates the generation of employment, promotes the creation of companies, increases productivity and positively affects per capita growth.

About IDB Invest
IDB Invest, the private sector institution of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to supporting Latin America and the Caribbean businesses. It finances sustainable enterprises and projects to achieve financial results that maximize economic, social and environmental development for the region. With a current portfolio of $11.2 billion under management and 330 clients in 23 countries, IDB Invest works across sectors to provide innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the evolving demands of its clients.

About Telefónica of Costa Rica TC, S.A, Telefónica Móviles Guatemala S.A. y Telefónica Móviles Panamá S.A.
The three are subsidiaries of Telefónica S.A. ("Telefónica") and offer competitive communication services through the Movistar and Tuenti brands that include mobile telephony, interconnection services, fixed and mobile broadband, pay television and digital services to individuals and corporate clients. In mobile telephones, Movistar is one of the four mobile network operators in the Central American market with mobile services in third generation cellular technology ("3G") and the fourth generation technology of long-term evolution ("4G/LTE"). In order to promote the use of mobile broadband, Movistar offers device financing to its postpaid subscribers, through which customers pay monthly fees to buy smartphones.