IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has sanctioned a $ 100 million loan to Idea Cellular to help the company expand its network in India.
The telecom company will use the loan to launch cellular services in Bihar, one of the few states in India, which has a poorly developed telecommunications network.
Accoeding to IFC, the investment will promote competition in the sector and expand the availability and affordability of services for consumers.
It is also expected to help increase telephone penetration in Bihar from less than 8 per cent in 2008 to more than 20 per cent by 2012. IFC and Idea Cellular are developing a project that will establish "Pocket Public Calling Offices" to deliver mobile phone-based communications and other value-added services to underserved rural communities and the urban unconnected poor in India.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments.
Idea Cellular is a GSM mobile service provider,which has licenses to operate in 22 service areas. Idea plans to launch operations in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Tamil Nadu before the end of this fiscal.