The construction, installation and operation of a state-of-the-art telecommunications system in Bolivia will receive the support of US$40mn in financing from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).

The IADB’s board of executive directors has approved a US$37mn loan from its ordinary capital and a syndicated loan of US$3mn to help finance the project of AES Communications Bolivia SA, which is sponsored by the AES Corporation of the US.

The initiative will improve national and international long-distance service, data transmission and value-added services in the retail telecommunications sector, as well as wholesale transport to other providers and services in calling centres.

“The project will have a positive impact on the Bolivian economy resulting from investments of nearly US$100mn,” says IADB project team leader Luc Grillet. “There will be an increase in the supply and greater efficiency and competition, which will result in savings and better services to the consumer.”

The new network will expand coverage and establish new services, as operators become active in markets that have not yet been attended. It will promote a reduction in rates for all telecommunications services, more attention to clients, more services, and better quality for existing services.

It will also facilitate greater access to information and telecommunications in general by schools, universities, hospitals and other public service institutions.