Digital Inclusion

A range of key services in society are now becoming available online. This is a development that significantly reduces time and cost for providers as well as consumers of these services. At the same time it is noticeable how some services are becoming increasingly hard to access in the offline world.

In this scenario the gap between those who have quality internet access and those who do not is widening. The importance of ensuring access for all is essential to Telenor’s effort to empower societies. Telenor sees this development as integral with the company’s commitment to reduce inequalities in the societies where it operates. Clearly the greatest challenges relating to access are in the emerging markets in South Asia, but the challenge of ensuring an inclusive internet is relevant everywhere. Telenor remains committed to deliver the benefits of digital access and outreach to all.

Khushaal Zamindar, which is a free-of-charge Interactive Voice Response, robot-call and SMS-based service for Pakistani farmers, continued to be further developed and expanded in 2018. This is a service that provides localised, contextualised and customised weather forecasts and actionable agriculture advice, including information on a range of cash crops, fruits and vegetables, fodder and livestock. Khushaal Zamindar was formally extended to Sindh province in December 2018. In the three first weeks since the formal introduction of the service, 42,000 new users were added. Khushaal Zamindar partnered with IBM in April 2018 in an effort to provide farmers across the country with localized and accurate weather forecasting data. At year-end 2018, almost 6,000 unique messages were sent out on a daily basis, compared to less than 50 in 2017.

During 2018, dtac in Thailand continued to develop its SMART farmer project, which provides farmers with relevant and timely agricultural information straight to their mobile phones. In partnership with the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, dtac has run extended marketing training courses nationwide to help farmers successfully present and sell their products online. In 2018, 20,000 farmers were trained in online marketing. In October 2018, dtac launched its “Farm Man Yum” service, which is a Precision Farming Application. One of this application’s functions is to help analyse various datasets from the farms in order to resolve any issues in a timely manner. The service was designed to meet the needs of farmers who are reliant on precise weather forecasts to manage and plan their cultivation, increase yields and cut costs. The service incorporates personalized weather forecasts, which show area-specific data on an hourly basis, including temperature, likelihood and amount of rainfall. It can also give a seven-day forecast with the highest plot-specific precision available in Thailand.

Telenor Myanmar’s digital literacy centres, the Lighthouses, are multi-purpose online hubs for local communities in Myanmar. They serve as digital literacy centres, they host child online safety sessions as part of Telenor Myanmar’s outreach work, they are part of the company’s point of sale network and they are often local printing hubs. Since November 2015, more than 144,000 students have received digital literacy training and online safety training. Some Lighthouses were discontinued, as they were not successful in fulfilling their role in the local community. Other centres were established in the same period and 60 Lighthouses were in operation at year-end 2018.

At Telenor we are proud to be partnering with UNICEF. Together we strive to improve the situation for disadvantaged children in many of the countries where we operate, using ICTs as our main tools for change. Please visit our UNICEF section for more information on our joint work.

Read more about our UNICEF partnership

As part of our effort to better understand how the mobile phone impacts society Telenor Group has commissioned studies on the socio-economic impact of the Internet and of mobile communications, mobile financial services and mobile health. These reports are available through the link below.

Read about the findings from our studies

Read more about Telenor’s Digital Inclusion projects in the 2018 Sustainability Report