Important ethical questions are being raised by customers, employees, lawmakers, regulators, investors and society in general. Privacy and the use of data are currently at the forefront of this discussion. Meanwhile, Artificial Intelligence, big data and machine learning are bringing about both new challenges and opportunities, and we will be doing our utmost to ensure that future developments in these expanding fields can be of mutual benefit to our customers, employees, society – and us as a company. Underpinning all of this work is our dedication to being a responsible corporate citizen where we operate: we have zero tolerance for corruption; we initiate employee and supply chain educational programmes – aiming to raise competences and standards within our communities; we institute safe work places; and we are committed to reduced inequalities.
In 2018, we saw good momentum on the strategy implementation which we began in 2017. We further simplified and developed the company’s portfolio via the sale of the Central Eastern European operations and through the partnership with Ant Financial in Pakistan. In Thailand, the concession model came to an end. Our global focus on operational efficiencies in combination with increased digitalisation of processes and services delivered both cost reductions and improved customer experiences, as planned. The Board of Directors would like to thank all employees of Telenor for their efforts and achievements in the year of 2018.
We expect 2019 to be a year marked by strong competition and increased customer expectations, asking of us seamless, hassle-free user experiences and reliable connectivity wherever, whenever. To meet customers’ ever increasing demands, we need to not only focus on speed and access, but also on how we deliver our services. Trust is at the centre of this. Consumers are increasingly conscious of how their data is collected and used, and we will address their concerns. Enterprises also see possibilities in the use of big data and artificial intelligence and face threats with regard to cyber security, and we need to be their partners in addressing both the opportunities and challenges related to these areas of our business. Finally, as an organisation, it will behoove us to maintain the digital pace and abilities of our digitally savvy customers in order to deliver the connectivity services that matter most to them.
As we work to meet all of our challenges and maximise on the opportunities, we will continue to deliver on our ambition of being a company known for bringing long term value for shareholders. To deliver and create value for all stakeholders is the long-term foundation for successful companies. Telenor aims to belong in that group of companies.
– Gunn Wærsted