Dhiraagu borrows from ADB for expanding the network connectivity

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Dhivehi Raajjeyge Gulhun Public Limited Company (Dhiraagu) signed a $20 million debt financing facility on 26th October 2022.

While the Maldivian telecommunications industry has come a long way since its inception, there is no doubt that Maldivian enterprises still have a long way to go in terms of network connectivity to catch up with the rest of the globe.

When it comes to network access and quality in the Maldives, it all depends on where you are. While Maldives telecommunications companies have been attempting to provide internet access throughout the Maldives, network issues continue to be a big issue for many on smaller islands. 

However, given the progress made since the pandemic, it only seems reasonable that everyone has access to high-speed internet in the post-COVID-19 period, when working from home has become the new norm.

Robust internet connectivity, and in general, a good network connection, has become more crucial than ever as individuals have become increasingly reliant on network usage to get through day-to-day living activities such as working, entertainment, or even paying a bill.

With the need for good connectivity having become increasingly important, especially for spread out island nations such as the Maldives, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Dhivehi Raajjeyge Gulhun Public Limited Company (Dhiraagu) signed a $20 million debt financing facility on 26th October 2022.

The debt financing was split into two separate signings with the goal of expanding mobile and internet coverage throughout the Maldivian islands — the first being a $9.1 million signing to support Dhiraagu in their general capital expenditure and working capital requirements such as network capacity upgrades, data center expansion, and mobile service enhancements in and outside the capital Malé.

The second agreement was for $10.9 million in general capital expenditures and funds to assist develop the SMW6 undersea cable system, which will connect the Maldives to Europe and Asia via the Middle East via a 15,000-kilometer cable.

“Mobile and internet connectivity is important for socioeconomic growth and development. It's crucial for island nations like Maldives, where public services are difficult to provide as the population is spread across numerous islands. This is ADB’s first private sector infrastructure financing transaction in Maldives, which will help to deliver faster and more affordable internet connectivity and be a crucial enabler of private sector investments and regional connectivity.” — ADB Private Sector Operations Department Director General Suzanne Gaboury.

Such investments and advancements have become critical, particularly for the Maldives' smaller islands, which are still lagging behind in terms of development.

With increased connectivity in this internet age, some of this nation's undiscovered gorgeous islands may finally hit the development jackpot, whether in terms of tourism or any other sort of essential development that they have been striving towards.

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