Telenor aims to create new telecommunications technology companies in Thailand and Asia


During a media briefing in Thailand, Sigve Brekke, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Telenor Group and Jorgen Rostrup, Executive Vice President and Head of Telenor Asia, Telenor Group spoke about Telenor’s ambition to create large telecommunications companies in Thailand and Asia. .

The roundtable took place a day after Telenor and Axiata received regulatory clearance in Malaysia to take the next steps with the Celcom-Digi merger in that market.

When Telenor entered the Thai market 20 years ago, the company’s vision was that every Thai deserves a mobile phone and should be able to afford one. Telenor has launched market-changing initiatives such as per-second billing and new marketing and distribution models to bring affordability to the masses. Today, mobile phone penetration in Thailand is 86% with 98.5 million mobile connections. This is what Sigve Brekke called Telenor’s growth 1.0 in Thailand.


Over the next 20 years, Telenor’s growth in Thailand will be very different. Sigve Brekke said the telecommunications industry is facing a perfect storm with new technologies – artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and 5G – coming together. It will no longer be a question of connecting people to each other but of connecting machines and physical objects to the Internet. There will be an explosion of data and you will need AI to make sense of the massive amounts of data being generated. You will need speed (5G) to connect hundreds or even thousands of these objects.

It highlighted new ways for consumers, businesses and governments to use this group of technologies – from port operations to defense and medicine. The competitive landscape for telecommunications operators will be very different. Competitors will not only be traditional telecommunications operators, but global platform companies such as AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft. These global platform companies will be both partners of telecom operators but also competitors. Telenor has signed global partnerships with AWS, Google and Microsmany times.

Sigve Brekke, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Telenor Group
What Telenor is trying to build in Thailand is not a telecommunications company. We are trying to create a new technology company that will allow Thailand to take advantage of the perfect storm of technology and provide new products and services to Thailand. We can only do this if we have the scale to partner with these global companies. A small, local telecommunications company will not appeal to these global companies looking for scale.

Jørgen Rostrup, Executive Vice President and Head of Telenor Asia
We believe that the merger of dtac and True will create a strong company that can invest and contribute to the future digital and technological development in Thailand. This is an opportunity for Thailand to be propelled into Growth 2.0 and put the country first. Thailand needs two strong market players, not one strong and two weak.

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