We have gone from providing telegraphs, switchboards and telephone booths to developing the innovative technologies that empower today’s societies. It’s a long way from where we started in 1855. Here are key events in Telenor’s history of providing services to international customers.


Telenor reshapes its organisation with a focus on four business areas

Telenor presented on its Capital Markets Day 2022 significant changes to ensure growth and reshape the company’s role as an enabler for digitalisation and sustainability. The company will become a leading telecom operator and infrastructure player in the Nordics and take leading positions in security and IoT services. In Asia, Telenor will, together with partners, build scale and take number one positions in several markets.

Telenor is forced to leave Myanmar

Telenor launched commercial operations in Myanmar in 2014 with a purpose: to connect the people of Myanmar with each other – and the world. Built on more than 20 years of Asian experience, Telenor Myanmar became a leader in responsible business and lived its purpose of empowering societies and connecting customers to what matters most to them.

The extraordinary situation after the military took control of Myanmar on 1 February 2021 made it impossible for Telenor to continue operations in the country. Telenor was forced to exit Myanmar to be able to adhere to the company's own values on human rights and responsible business, and because local laws in Myanmar conflicted with Norwegian and European laws. On 25 March 2022, Telenor announced the completion of the sale of Telenor Myanmar.

You can read more about Telenor in Myanmar here.


Telenor and Axiata in advanced discussions to merge Malaysian operations

Axiata, Telenor and Digi have signed transaction agreements for the proposed merger of Celcom and Digi. The signing signifies a confirmation of the intent to establish a commercially stronger and more resilient digital converged service provider and leading Malaysian telecom operator positioned to drive Malaysia’s digital ambitions. Axiata and Telenor will be equal partners with 33.1 percent ownership stake each.

Completion of the transaction will be subject to the approval of both Axiata and Digi shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary terms and conditions. Barring unforseen circumstances, the Proposed Merger is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2022.

Telenor gathers strength in IoT for the 5G era

Telenor Group unifies its IoT offering across the Nordics and internationally. The Nordic IoT portfolio and the global Telenor Connexion portfolio are gathered under the brand Telenor IoT. Telenor IoT is to be offered from all Telenor business channels in the Nordics, internationally by Telenor Connexion and through selected partners.


Telenor Group divests stake in Malaysian mobile financial services business, Valyou

Telenor Group sells its stake in Valyou, a wholly owned mobile financial services provider in Malaysia, to Merchantrade Asia, a fast-growing Malaysian FinTech.

Telenor Group divests shares in Wave Money

Telenor Group divests its shares in Digital Money Myanmar Limited (Wave Money) to Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd.

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.

Viasat Consumer and Canal Digital merger completed

The two TV distributors merge, and the new company is named Allente. Allente offers TV distribution via satellite, streaming services as well as IPTV solutions, and fibre broadband via open networks to 1.2 million customers in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

Helsinki, Finland
Telenor entered FInland in 2019


Telenor Group and NENT Group merged Canal Digital and Viasat Consumer

Telenor Group and Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) announced the formation of a new company that combines Canal Digital and Viasat Consumer (satellite pay-TV & broadband-TV operations).

Telenor Group merged online classifieds assets with Carousell

Telenor Group announced a merger between its online classifieds business, 701Search, and Carousell, one of Asia’s largest and fastest-growing classifieds marketplaces, in an equity and cash agreement.

Telenor Group entered Finland

Telenor Group acquired the Finnish telecom operator DNA.

Axiata and Telenor agreed to end discussions

Axiata Group Berhad and Telenor Group have mutually agreed to end discussions regarding a non-cash combination of their telecom and infrastructure assets in Asia.

Nordic CEOs meet with region’s Prime Ministers to accelerate sustainability action on climate and diversity

The Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future, an alliance of the leaders of the Nordic region’s leading businesses including Telenor, meet with the prime ministers of the five Nordic countries to discuss a collaborative approach to addressing sustainability challenges.

Telenor Group completed sale of Telenor Banka to PPF Group

Telenor Group announced the completion of the sale of Telenor Banka in Serbia to PPF Group, following regulatory approvals.

Tonic customers in Bangladesh with scratchcard
Telenor Group's mobile health service, Tonic, in Bangladesh is recognised by Fortune


Telenor Group recognised by Fortune’s annual Change the World list

Telenor Group is recognised for its work to bring affordable healthcare to the mass market through its mobile health service, Tonic, in Bangladesh.

Nordic CEOs join forces for a sustainable future

A group of Nordic-based CEOs, including the CEO of Telenor Group Sigve Brekke, announce a joint initiative to speed up the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Telenor Group to coordinate pan-European 5G project

The EU has given Telenor Group coordination responsibility for its new European project to accelerate the uptake of 5G across Europe. The initiative, 5G Verticals INNovation Infrastructure (5G-VINNI), is comprised of 23 partners, including major operators, academia and industry vendors.

Telenor sells assets in Central and Eastern Europe

Telenor sells its assets in Central and Eastern Europe to PPF Group for EUR 2.8 billion (approximately NOK 27 billion) on an enterprise value basis.

Telenor CEO: Spend 40 hours annually on upskilling

Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke challenges more than 30 000 employees in 12 countries to carry out 40 hours of training and education in 2018 to transform the workforce for a digital future.


Telenor completes its sell-down in VEON

Bharti Airtel takes ownership of Telenor’s operations in India

Telenor ASA enters into an agreement with Bharti Airtel Limited to take full ownership of Telenor India.


Telenor acquired marketing technology firm Tapad

Telenor Group entered into an agreement to acquire approximately 95 percent of Tapad Inc., a leading marketing technology firm. The acquisition enables Telenor to take a position within the rapidly growing market for advertising technology and secures important competence within digital marketing and analytics.


Gunn Wærsted elected as new Chair of the Board of Telenor ASA

The Corporate Assembly of Telenor ASA elects Gunn Wærsted (60) as Chair of the Board of Directors.

Telenor adopts global six-month paid maternity leave policy

In line with a corporate vision of encouraging diversity and developing more female leadership in business and society, Telenor Group adopts a six-month paid maternity leave policy as a minimum standard globally across its 13 markets.

Uninor becomes Telenor India

Uninor, Telenor Group’s subsidiary in India with 40 million customers, changes its name to Telenor India.

Sigve Brekke new Group President and CEO

Sigve Brekke is 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.

Launch of THOR 7 satellite

THOR 7 satellite successfully launched, delivering satellite communications services for all the markets in which we operate.


Telenor sells Conax

Telenor Broadcast sells Conax to Kudelski Group for NOK 1.5 billion. Conax serves approximately 380 clients worldwide representing 140 million pay-tv consumers in over 85 countries.

Telenor establishes operations in Myanmar

Telenor signs an agreement with the Union Government of Myanmar for a nationwide telecommunications licence.

Telenor Banka becomes first online bank in Serbia

Telenor Banka provides customers with innovative mobile banking services, a milestone in Telenor’s development of online financial services and mobile banking in Europe.

Telenor becomes sole owner in Uninor in India

Telenor completes 100 per cent ownership of Telewings in India.


Agreement with UNI Global Union

Telenor entered into collaboration with UNI Global Union, the voice of 20 million service sector workers around the world, to establish a platform and framework for dialogue on fundamental labour rights.

Joint venture with MicroEnsure

MicroEnsure is a leading provider of insurance products to more than four million people in Africa and Asia

Telenor entered Bulgaria

Telenor acquired the second largest mobile operator in Bulgaria, GLOBUL.

Telenor joins JVs for online classifieds

Telenor, Schibsted Media Group and Singapore Press Holdings team up to create two joint ventures (JVs) in online classifieds in Asia and South America.

Group CEO Fredrik Baksaas elected Chairman of GSMA

GSMA represents nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators in addition to 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.

Telenor Common Operation is established

Telenor Common Operation offers managed network and IT services to Telenor Business Units


Telenor recognised by UNICEF and the World Bank

Telenor is recognised by UNICEF and the World Bank for health, finance and agriculture services.

Telenor and Telefonica establish a global financial services platform


Telenor Group passes a milestone: 100 million subscribers in Asia

Telenor introduces internet services company ComoYo

The internet services company ComoYo is introduced to develop and aggregate third-party services.

Telenor Connexion telematics service for Nissan LEAF wins GSMA Award 2011

The Nissan LEAF CARWINGS telematics system, of which Telenor Connexion is part, wins the GSMA award for “Best Mobile Innovation for Automotive and Transport”.


Pannon and Promonte are rebranded to Telenor Hungary and Telenor Montenegro

Easypaisa wins Mobile Money Transfer award

Telenor Pakistan’s Easypaisa walks away with “entrant of the year award” during the world’s first ever Mobile Money Transfer Awards in Dubai.

Local renewable energy supply in use in Telenor Group

Local renewable energy supply is used in Montenegro, Serbia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand and Hungary.

VimpelCom Ltd established and headquartered in Amsterdam

Grameenphone (Bangladesh) opens new, eco-friendly headquarters

The Grameenphone headquarters become the first truly environmentally friendly building in Bangladesh, reducing energy consumption by 30 per cent in its first year.


Danish operations renamed Telenor Denmark

Danish mobile operator Sonofon and broadband provider Cybercity change their names to Telenor.

THOR 6 satellite is launched

Telenor and Altimo form new joint mobile operator in Russia

Telenor and Altimo form a new joint mobile operator targeting emerging markets.

Uninor mobile services in India are launched


Telenor entered India

Telenor takes control of a 60 per cent stake in Unitech Wireless (India)

Telenor Connexion is established

Telenor Connexion, working with SIM card services (Internet of Things), is established in Stockholm, Sweden

The new Telenor satellite, THOR 5, is successfully launched

Telenor named top performer by Sustainability Yearbook

The Telenor Group is ranked the best Mobile Telecom company in the world by the Sustainability Yearbook 2008.

Telenor leaves Austria


Telenor enters Serbia

Telenor wins the bid for the second largest mobile operator in Serbia

Telenor Group reaches 100 million subscriptions

Telenor enters Sweden

Telenor acquires Vodafone Group’s Swedish mobile operation

Telenor Satellite Services are sold to Apax Partners (France)

Telenor Group launches a new logo and visual design


Telenor entered Pakistan

Telenor entered into an agreement to roll out mobile communications infrastructure in Pakistan

Telenor leaves Greece

The remaining shares in Cosmote (Greece) are sold


Telenor acquires 100 per cent ownership of Sonofon, Denmark


Telenor increases its investment in VimpelCom, Russia

Jon Fredrik Baksaas succeeds 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 telecommunication 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.


Becomes majority owner in Malaysia’s Digi

Telenor increases its share in Malaysia’s Digi to 61 per cent.

Sole owner of Hungary’s Pannon

World’s largest operator of mobile satellite services

Telenor acquires Comsat Mobile Communications and becomes the world’s largest operator of mobile satellite services

Telenor leaves Germany and Ireland

Ownership shares in Germany and Ireland are sold.


Telenor enters Thailand and Denmark

Telenor AS is partly privatised

Norwegian state ownership decreases to 62.4 per cent. Results in company listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and on NASDAQ (latter delisted) .


Telenor becomes a minority owner in VimpelCom, Russia

Operations in Malaysia expanded

Telenor acquires a 33 per cent holding in Digi, Malaysia


Telenor and partners open mobile networks in Greece and Austria

Thor 3 satellite launched

Telenor ownership in Russian VimpelCom (1998–2017)

In 1998 Telenor signed an agreement to acquire a minority stake in VimpelCom. The ownership would be characterised by a years-long struggle with the Russian partner Alfa Group over control of the enterprise and its assets.

In 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and Dutch authorities opened investigations related to VimpelCom’s operations in Uzbekistan. The investigations were concluded in 2016 when VimpelCom agreed to pay USD 795 million in a global settlement.

Telenor Group divested its stake in VimpelCom in 2017 to focus on creating value in core operations.


THOR 2 satellite is successfully launched

Telenor opens mobile networks in Ireland

Telenor enters into a consortium to build mobile networks in Ukraine and Germany

International standard for satellite broadcasting

Cooperates with Canal Plus (Europe’s largest broadcasting company) in developing a digital standard for satellite broadcasting

Telenor enters Greece

Telenor, together with partners, is awarded licences to develop mobile networks in Greece

Grameenphone opens mobile network in Dhaka

Grameenphone opens the mobile network in the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka


Telenor enters Montenegro and Bangladesh

Telenor enters Austria

Telenor becomes market leader in Nordic satellite-based broadcasting


Telenor enters Ireland

Opens operation in St Petersburg, Russia

Northwest GSM, in which Telenor has a 13 per cent ownership share, officially opens in St Petersburg, Russia


North-West GSM joint venture

Telenor establishes its first presence in Russia, extending its digital fixed line from Norway to Murmansk, offering international phone connection to the region. In the following year, Telenor formed a joint venture with Telia, Telecom Finland and local partners called North-West GSM and was awarded a GSM licence that covered St Petersburg and the Murmansk-Archangelsk region. Telenor would go on to sell its stake in North-West GSM in 2001.


Tormod Hermansen becomes 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.


Telenor enters global partnerships to create mobile and satellite services

Telenor and partners create technical solutions such as satellite services, the NMT 450 (Nordic Mobile Telephone) and GSM mobile systems


Telenor are pioneers of the internet, being the first country outside USA to connect to ARPANET