Smile Closes $365M Financing Deal to Boost Network Expansion

Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd (Smile), site decease on Tuesday announced that the company raised USD365 million of debt and equity financing.

The company which owns and operates mobile wireless 4G LTE broadband networks in the 800MHz band in Uganda, story malady Tanzania and Nigeria has revealed that the funding will be used to expand Smile’s existing 4G LTE mobile broadband networks and services.

Smile will also launch its broadband network in Democratic Republic of Congo in 2016.

According to the telecommunication, buy more about the funding is comprised of USD50 million of equity raised from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), and a USD315 million multi-tranche, multi-jurisdictional debt facility led by African Export-Import Bank.

The telecommunication has revealed that their shareholders now comprise of Al Nahla Group, a Saudi Arabia-based company which is the majority shareholder, Renven Investment Holdings, Verene, representing Smile senior management and social entrepreneurs from South Africa, Telecom Investments, Capital works, the PIC and Smile employees.

Under the terms, the funding will be used to accelerate national network roll-out, including equipment and services provided by Alcatel Lucent and Ericsson, a full MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) network, a London Point of Presence and expanded international backhaul services as well as fund operational expenditure and working capital.

Smile’s objective is to become the broadband provider of choice for super-fast data and clear voice in each of its markets.

The company also aims at providing for over 300 million potential customers in the four countries of operation with a fast, reliable and high quality platform to accelerate development and wealth creation.


“The availability of a reliable high-speed, broadband internet service in the country will help businesses and individuals become more productive and efficient, and this in itself is an economic enabler,” Beatrice Kiraso the Chairperson of Smile Uganda said.

“I am pleased to be part of a company that has the potential to improve the lives of the people of Uganda and the other African countries that we operate in,” she added.

According to Irene Charnley, the Chief Executive Officer of Smile, now that Smile is fully funded to deliver national coverage of unrivalled super-fast internet access and clear voice services, the company’s priority is to ensure that their customers experience and benefit from the power of high speed mobile broadband compared to the narrowband services available to date.

Sheikh Mohammed Sharbatly the Deputy Chairman of Smile said, “I have recently had the joy of using the Smile network in Nigeria, and the quality is better than what we experience in the United Kingdom and in Saudi Arabia.”

“By licensing 800MHz spectrum for commercial use at an early stage relative to many other countries, including high-income ones, the governments of Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and the DRC have each demonstrated commitment to be at the forefront of the broadband revolution and to accelerate development and GDP growth,” he added.

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