Our history in Norway

Red phone booth in a park in Oslo, Norway

Telenor has provided telecommunications in Norway for more than 165 years, starting with the telegraph, continuing with telephones and broadcasting networks, and continuing to today’s digital innovations. Telenor’s history is Norway’s history. Here are some of the highlights.


Telenor's 5G business accelerates

Telenor's 5G network covers over 60 per cent of the population, with over a million 5G devices in the network. According to Tutela, Telenor has the best total coverage in Norway, and was once again awarded for having the fastest 5G network in Norway by Ookla. Telenor also launched TV services over 4G and 5G fixed wireless broadband in 2022.


Telenor increased the pace of modernization

By the end of the year we were modernizing 50-60 base stations per week.

Norway’s fastest network

According to results from tests taken using Ookla® Speedtest®, Telenor has the fastest 5G network in Norway (measurements second half 2021). Customers' mobile experiences had a major boost in 2021, speeds more than doubled. The main reason is that the new modernized 4G network is also vastly improved.

The world’s most robust network?

Telenor has introduced dual-homing in the mobile network, and the introduction of this follows the pace of Telenor's 5G modernization. By utilizing double lines, the customer consequence of an outage in the mobile network will be drastically reduced, this is because redundancy is achieved.

Innovation, speed and security

Telenor launched 5G fixed wireless broadband, with speeds up to 500 Mbps. Furthermore, the company strengthened our Security position, both within products and expertise. And we took a leap into the new future within edge computing.


Telenor opened first commercial 5G network in Norway

Telenor’s commercial 5G network opened in nine different cities and villages across Norway, making Telenor the first mobile operator in the country to offer 5G to customers.

Fornebu to remain Telenor headquarter for 25 years with new property owners

Telenor sells the headquarter office building at Fornebu, Norway to NPRO Holding AS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Norwegian Property ASA. The building will continue to operate as Telenor’s headquarter for the next 25 years.


Telenor launched Scandinavia’s largest 5G pilot in Norway

Telenor opened Scandinavia’s largest 5G pilot in the Norwegian municipality of Elverum, making Telenor Norway the country’s first operator to integrate 5G into its mobile network.

Telenor completed 5G vendor selection for Norway

Telenor has completed its vendor selection process for the future network in Norway. Ericsson will modernise and build the Telenor’s 5G radio access network (RAN).

Telenor, NHH and NTNU to establish a new knowledge powerhouse to fuel growth and develop new industries

Some of Norway’s key knowledge institutions join forces to contribute to the country’s digital success: NHH, NTNU and Telenor are establishing an open collaboration arena for digital transformation and innovation.

Three Telenor leaders recognised among Norway’s 50 leading women in tech

On the International Women’s Day, the NHO association Abelia and the women’s network ODA, announced Norway’s 50 foremost women in technology Among the 50 recognised women in technology were three Telenor leaders: Telenor Norway’s Ingeborg Øfsthus, Chief Technology Officer; Camilla Amundsen, Head of Fixed and TV and Astrid Undheim, Telenor Research VP in Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.

Telenor opening the first 5G pilot in Scandinavia
Telenor opening the first 5G pilot in Scandinavia


Telenor launched nationwide IoT network over 4G

Telenor Norway opened its 4G network for Internet of Things (IoT) communication. IoT over 4G enables sensors and other “things” to communicate via Telenor’s existing 4G network. This makes Telenor’s network the only one to provide full nationwide coverage for IoT communication.

Telenor Group launched the first 5G pilot in Scandinavia

Telenor Group launched the very first 5G pilot in Scandinavia. The pilot will serve as a testbed for the superfast fifth generation mobile network in Norway.

Ookla: ‘Telenor has the fastest mobile network in the world’

Telenor Norway has the fastest mobile network in the world, according to Ookla, which analyses the speeds from tests conducted by mobile customers.

Telenor's Ookla award for the world's fastest mobile network 2018
Ookla announced that Telenor had the world’s fastest mobile network, based on measurements from the second quarter of 2018.


Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab opened

Norway’s new powerhouse for artificial intelligence (AI) opened in Trondheim. The new centre, Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab, will strengthen national competitiveness and add valuable, future-proof competencies to the Norwegian society.

IoT pilot launched

Telenor Group unveils a new experimental Internet of Things (IoT) offering, Telenor Start IoT, in Norway. Available free of charge to Norwegian entrepreneurs and students, the multi-city pilot initiative will support entrepreneurship, boost innovation and new national competence building.


Sigve Brekke new Group President and CEO

Sigve Brekke appointed President and CEO of Telenor Group. He leads the digital transformation of Telenor Group, focusing on operational efficiency, modernisation and positioning the company as a digital telco. His experience includes roles in Telenor as Executive Vice President and Head of Asia and CEO of Thailand’s mobile operator dtac.


The mobile payment solution Valyou is launched in Norway


TravelSure is launched in the Nordic countries

Nordic customers get more simplicity, cost control and flexibility when using their mobile abroad thanks to TravelSure.

Introduced 4G phones in Norway

Telenor is the first telecoms operator in Norway to make it possible to use mobile phones on the 4G network

Launched first 4G networks in Norway

Telenor launched its fourth-generation mobile network (4G) in 11 cities and towns in Norway


Celebrated 100 years with operations in the Arctic

Telenor Svalbard celebrates 100 years in the Arctic and launches the northernmost 4G network.

Telenor Norway ran network swap

Replacing equipment at 6500 locations and wins InfoWorld Green Award for clever handling of 1500 tonnes of used network equipment.


Launches music streaming service Wimp in Denmark and Norway


Telenor Norway is granted a licence in the 2.6 GHz band for 4G

The digital terrestrial network opens in Norway


Telenor celebrates 150 years


3G UMTS service is launched in Norway and Sweden


Fibre optic cable connects Svalbard with the mainland, Norway


The new Telenor Group headquarters opens at Fornebu, Norway

The first trial of UMTS (3G) takes place in Norway

Jon Fredrik Baksaas succeeded Tormod Hermansen as Group CEO

Jon Fredrik Baksaas was President and CEO from 2002 to 2015. During this period, Telenor grew to become a leading global telecommunications service provider with 200 million customers and operations in 13 markets across the Nordics, Central and Eastern Europe and Asia. Baksaas also served as Director of the Board of VimpelCom and was Chairman of GSM Association from 2013 through 2016.


Merger process between Telenor and Telia stopped

The Norwegian and Swedish states intervene; the merger process closing after 12 months


Telenor launches the first of its IP telephony products in Norway

The end of the monopoly of telecommunications in Norway, as The Norwegian telecommunications market opens up to full competition.


Fully digitalised network in Norway

The Norwegian telecommunications network is one of the first in the world to become fully digitalised.


Builds a new, high capacity infrastructure for the Internet in Norway


Televerket (Norwegian Telecommunications) changes its name to Telenor


Norwegian Telecom (Televerket) becomes a public corporation

ISDN (broadband) introduced in Norway

Olympic Winter Games at Lillehammer – Telenor a major partner

International media dubbed the event the ‘mobile phone Olympics’ due to the fact that 25,000 handsets were in operation.


Launches GSM-system – setting a new international standard (2G)

Telenor leads in establishing GSM (2G) – the SMS service was a part of this platform


THOR I is purchased and moved to the 1ºWest position

Tormod Hermansen became Managing Director

Tormod Hermansen was Managing Director of the Norwegian Telecom from 1991 to 1995 and President and CEO of Telenor from 1995 to 2002. Under his leadership, the company transformed from a state corporation to a public listed company.  As a response to deregulation of the Norwegian mobile market, Telenor increased its strategic focus on mobile services and started exploring international mobile opportunities.

Fibre optic cable connects Norway and Denmark


End of monopoly of sale of telephone sets in Norway


The last manual telephone exchange is shut down in Balsfjord, Norway

Automation of the Norwegian telecommunications network is completed


Early on with satellite-based TV transmission

Norwegian Telecom (Televerket) starts its field trials for television transmissions to Svalbard sent via satellite


The telefax is introduced in Norway

NMT (1G) is launched in Norway

Nordic Mobile Technology (NMT), first generation mobile services (1G), is launched by Telenor in Norway – subsequently a byproduct of a Scandinavian project headed by Telenor


Kjell Holler appointed as General Director of the Norwegian Telecom

Holler holds the position as General Director from 1980 to 1991.


94,000 names in Norway are on the waiting list for a phone subscription


First satellite connected to oil installations and shipping fleets

Officially opens up satellite connection from the mainland to oil installations in the North Sea and to shipping fleets abroad.


Takes over the last private telephone company in Norway

Andebu Telephone Association, is taken over by Norwegian Telecom (Televerket)


Norway is one of the last countries in Europe to launch colour television broadcasts


Partners to establish international standards for the mobile networks


Nordic telcos create the NMT standard (1G)

Cooperation between the Nordic countries to create a common standard resulting in Nordic Mobile Telephony (NMT)

From Telegrafverket to Televerket

The Norwegian Telegraph Administration (Telegrafverket) changes its name to Norwegian Telecommunications (Televerket)


Per Øvregard appointed as General Director of the Norwegian Telegraph

Øvregard holds the position as General Director from 1968 to 1980.


First manual mobile telephone is launched in Norway

Direct international distance dialing from Norway is enabled


Satellite telephone connection between Norway and USA opens


Leif Larsen appointed as General Director of the Norwegian Telegraph

Larsen holds the position as General Director from 1962 to 1968.


Norwegian Television (NRK TV) opens for television broadcasts


Celebrates our 100th anniversary

Celebrates our 100th anniversary – one of the oldest telecom companies in the world


Norway is occupied, new director appointed

The German occupying forces take control of the Norwegian Telegraph and appoint a new CEO in 1941. The appointed director, Andreas Hadland, steps down in 1945.


Andreas Haarberg appointed as General Director of the Norwegian Telegraph

Haarberg holds the position as General Director from 1938 to 1941.


Magne Hermod Petersen appointed as General Director of the Norwegian Telegraph

Petersen holds the position as General Director from 1925 to 1938.


First red telephone booths appear in Norway

“Miss Clock” introduced in Norway

The ‘speaking’ clock, known to all as “Miss Clock”, is introduced as a new and popular telephone service.


Tore Olaus Engset appointed as General Director of the Norwegian Telegraph

Engset holds the position as General Director from 1930 to 1935.


Telephone connection opens between Norway and USA

The telephone connection between Norway and USA opens


The first radio broadcast is transmitted in Norway


Niels Stockfleth Schultz Nickelsen General Director of the Norwegian Telegraph

Stockfleth Schultz Nickelsen holds the position as General Director from 1922 to 1929.


Opens the first automatic telephone exchange in Northern Europe

The Norwegian city of Skien opens an automatic telephone exchange


Second in the world to open radio waves connections between islands


Thomas Thomassen Heftye appointed General Director of the Norwegian Telegraph

Thomassen Heftye holds the position as General Director from 1905 to 1921.


Norwegian state obtains exclusive rights to run telephone services

The Telegraph Act is passed, giving the Norwegian state exclusive rights to run telephone services in Norway


Norway is one of the countries in the world with the highest density of telephones per habitant

First international telephone line introduced

The first international Norwegian telephone line connects Christiania (Oslo), Norway with Stockholm, Sweden


Jonas Severin Rasmussen appointed as General Director of the Norwegian Telegraph

Rasmussen holds the position as General Director from 1892 to 1905.


Norway’s first official telephone exchange opens


First telephone cables between Norwegian cities

The Norwegian cities of Arendal and Tvedestrand are connected via telephone cables


The first public demonstration of the Bell telephone in Norway one year after Bell introduced the telephone for the first time


The telegraph cable connection between Norway and Great Britain opened


First international telegraph cable connection opened between Norway and Denmark


First Norwegian telegraph line opened by the Norwegian Telegraph Administration

Connects Christiania (Oslo) and the city of Drammen