A new dawn for Telenor in Malaysia
For Telenor, the merger signals a new dawn for the company’s history in Malaysia – a history that spans back to 1999, when the company first bought a stake in Digi.
“Digi was the first major investment Telenor made in Asia. For 22 years, we learnt about Malaysia and its dynamic competitive market. We are proud of how Digi has developed into an innovative and customer focused telecom operator and contributed to empowering the Malaysian society and helped people connect to what matters most to them,” Brekke reminisces.
Telenor’s journey in Asia began two years earlier with Bangladesh in 1997. 25 years later, Telenor has over 165 million customers in the region and has, for more than two decades, supported national digital ambitions across Southeast Asia.
“Improving people’s lives and empowering societies has, is, and always will be Telenor’s foundation for growth in Asia. Seeing how mobile connectivity and digitalisation impact people confirms our companies’ important contribution to societal development,” says Rostrup, who refers to a recent Telenor Asia study of 8,000 people in South and Southeast Asia. In the survey, a whopping 93 per cent said that mobile connectivity improved their quality of life.
However, as mobile connectivity evolves from a nice-to-have to a must-have, both Brekke and Rostrup believe that to reap the full benefits of how new technologies, such as cloud computing, analytics, and storage, can further empower societies, telcos need to think differently.
“For Telenor’s operations in Asia, our ability to provide value to customers and society require new thinking. With Celcom Digi, we can stay competitive, drive growth, build scale, and enhance execution capabilities and innovation momentum,” says Rostrup, who oversees the company’s operations in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Thailand from Singapore.
The formation of Telenor Asia was announced in October 2022, and is a continuation of Telenor’s unified Asia business which was established two years earlier. Telenor Asia is a more autonomous regional entity with headquarters in Singapore that has complete oversight and responsibility for the company’s operations in the region.