JORDAN: European backing to improve local connectivity

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) are  in the process of providing a financial package worth $5 million to  Jordan’s  telecommunications provider Al-Hadatha Telecom and Technology PSC (DAMAMAX). The funding will help  to support the expansion of the company’s fibre-to the premises (FTTx) services.

A loan of up to $4.5 million, provided by the EBRD  in local currency and in US dollars will be complemented by an up to US$ 487,500 investment grant by the EU and used to finance investments in the expansion of fibre optic networks to underserved areas of the capital, Amman. The availability of affordable high-speed broadband will benefit local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as households.

Enterprises are expected to improve their productivity thanks to state-of-the-art internet access. The investment grant is provided under the Bank’s EU-supported Trade and Competitiveness Programme supporting SMEs in Jordan, EgyptMorocco and Tunisia to invest in new technologies.

The total current market size of fibre broadband in Jordan is around 133,000 subscribers according to the latest official data, with only certain high-income areas in central Amman currently well covered with the most advanced technology. DAMAMAX’s expansion will narrow this gap by substantially increasing the number of its fibre network subscribers.

Eyad Abouzeid, the CEO of DAMAMAX, said: “DAMAMAX is credited with commercially pioneering FTTx services as early as 2014. The company was able to thrive through offering high-value fixed broadband connectivity services, intrinsic value offerings and superior customer service. Support from the EBRD and the EU will be instrumental in realising the company’s vision of bringing FTTx technology and associated services to a larger segment of Jordan’s population, contributing to the development of the new economy.”

Established in Jordan in 2008, DAMAMAX is an SME telecommunications provider, operating a national and international transmission network, offering high-capacity, flexible and secure internet connectivity, including innovative data centre services to business and residential customers. Telecommunications and IT are key areas for the EBRD to invest in to support innovation and modernisation in the economies where it invests. To date, the Bank has invested over €4.8 billion in 208 projects in the sector.

In Jordan the EBRD has been active since 2012 and to date has invested almost €1.5 billion across 52 projects, of which 73 per cent are in the private sector.