Internet for everyone

Telenor Digital is one of the world’s major providers of mobile and internet services

Photo: Telenor Group Telenor Group and Telenor Norway HQ in Fornebu.

Photo: Telenor Group
Telenor Group and Telenor Norway HQ in Fornebu.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

Telenor Digital recently mingled with customers out in the Oslo streets and in MESHnorway, showcasing cool new services. They are the home of Telenor’s high-tech development house, creating globally scalable solutions within next-generation communication services, cloud services, e-commerce, and the internet on every device. They also enable distribution of their own and third-party services and support new ventures within digital entrepreneurship. One example is the new cloud storage service, which makes it easy for the user to safely store, see, and share images and documents from their computer, tablet, and mobile. Capture, as it’s called, has been released in the Norwegian market.

Headquartered in Norway, Telenor is one of the world’s major mobile operators, with 166 million mobile subscriptions and revenues last year of NOK 104 billion and a workforce of about 33,000. Altogether it has mobile operations in 13 markets in the Nordic region, Central and Eastern Europe, and Asia, as well as a voting stake of 42.9 percent in VimpelCom Ltd of Moscow. In 2000 the company was listed on the NASDAQ. The CEO was motivated to enter the telecom industry, as he grew up in a home where they only allowed taking incoming telephone calls since they were free.

The company has a long history. In 1855 the Norwegian Telegraph Administration was founded and the first telegraph line, between Christiania (Oslo) and the city of Drammen was opened. In 1928 the telephone connection between Norway and the U.S. was opened. In the 1960s and 1970s, telephone installers worked hard to reduce the waiting lists for telephones. At the time, 17,250 people were employed by Norwegian Telecom, and 50 percent of Norwegian households had telephone connection.

The Winter Olympic Games at Lillehammer in 1994 represented a breakthrough in mobile telephony. International media described the games as “The Mobile Phone Olympics.” 25,000 mobile phones were in use. Norwegian Telecom became a public company. In 1995 Norwegian Telecom changed its name to Telenor. The internet made its real breakthrough in Norway in 1996, and Telenor built a new, high-capacity infrastructure for it in Norway. The investment amounted to more than USD 1.913 million and provides a network with a capacity of more than 400,000 users.

The commercial part of Telenor Digital focuses on taking new positions within digital entrepreneurship to ensure Telenor’s competitive edge in the future. They seize new global opportunities and strategic directions with everything from partnerships to devices, including the likes of Facebook, WhatsApp, Mozilla, and Wikipedia, and they help speed up internet adoption among e-commerce and new distribution channels.

The Telenor Group’s key ambitions are to continue to focus on growth and value creation. To achieve this, they will focus on three strategic ambitions: internet for all, being loved by customers, and having efficient operations.

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 14, 2014, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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Rasmus Falck

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo.