Spanish multinational telecoms outfit Telefónica is set to procure a further €200 million (£170m) worth of BlackBerry devices for its supply chain following a loan from the Canadian government.
Export Development Canada (EDC) lent the European network operator the sizeable sum to help "facilitate the procurement of BlackBerry smartphones, sevices and solutions across its worldwide operations" - presumably boosting the recovery prospects of the erstwhile Canadian smartphone giant in the process.
The move is intended to stimulate "BlackBerry market share growth within Telefónica" and there "appears to be a need for financing [Telefónica] at this time," the EDC added.
It remains unclear exactly which devices and markets the £170 million fund might find itself invested in. Fan site CrackBerry has (optimistically) posited that the money is slated to fulfil consumer demand for a further 500,000 BlackBerry Z10 handsets, while in the UK, retailers are currently assessing early-stage interest in the QWERTY-sporting BlackBerry Q10.
In addition to its operations across Europe, Telefónica also has ventures further afield and owns a stake in China Telecom, so the low-interest EDC loan could help to promote BlackBerry 10 in emerging markets.
Following the Z10 and Q10, BlackBerry is rumoured to be preparing additional products for release in 2013 - a mid-range BlackBerry R-series handset and a new BlackBerry 10 flagship device are among the upcoming offerings being mooted.
Telefónica has a history of partnering with the Canadian government for mobile-related deals and the investment relationship between the two dates back to 2006.