Telefonica Given £170m BlackBerry Loan From Canadian Government

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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EDC lends Telefonica money to purchase BlackBerry smartphones and services

Telefonica has been given a €200 million (£170m) loan from the Canadian government to purchase BlackBerry smartphones and services.

Export Development Canada (EDC), the country’s export credit agency, provided CAD 8.4 billion (£5.4bn) to 1,000 Canadian importers and investors during 2012. The loan is part of an ongoing relationship with Telefonica that has seen the agency provide the Spanish operator with financing for Canadian procurements since 2006.

“EDC’s financing is really about making the transactions between BlackBerry and Telefónica easier, helping to enhance and broaden the relationship between these two major global players,” said Lewis Megaw, Regional Vice President Africa Europe and the Middle East, EDC.

Telefonica BlackBerry loan

BlackBerry Q 10Trade between Spain and Canada reached CAD 2.6 billion (£1.7bn) in 2012, primarily in the ICT, aerospace and extractive sectors. Five hundred companies used EDC’s services accounting for CAD 414.8 million (£2.66m) of that figure.

The EDC says that the loan will help increase BlackBerry market share growth within Telefonica, which has 315.7 million customers in 24 countries.

The Canadian government is thought to have a keen interest in BlackBerry which has been struggling of late. Some have suggested that the government could block a potential deal in which Lenovo is runoured to be considering buying BlackBerry.

BlackBerry is currently in the process of refreshing its smartphone range with devices running its new operating system, BlackBerry 10. It launched the BlackBerry Z10 in the UK in February with the BlackBerry Q10 set to be released later this month.

BlackBerry 10 is seen as vital to the company’s chances of a revival after its share of the smartphone market has been eroded by rivals such as Apple and Samsung. BlackBerry hopes that the platform will appeal to both consumers and the enterprise, bridging the divide between business and pleasure.

There are signs that the company’s fortunes could be turning after it announced it had sold one million BlackBerry Z10s in its most recent results, which also revealed that it recorded a surprise profit.

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