August 24, 2010

Telenor- World's Sixth Largest Carier in Telecommunications Industry

Telenor ASA
Image via Wikipedia

Telenor (OSE: TEL, NASDAQ: TELNF) is the incumbent telecommunications company in
Norway, with headquarters located at Fornebu, close to Oslo. Today, Telenor is
mostly an international wireless carrier with operations in Scandinavia, Eastern
Europe and Asia. It is currently ranked as the sixth largest carrier in the
world, with 172 million subscribers. In addition, it has extensive broadband and
TV distribution operations in four Nordic Countries.


Telenor started off in 1855 as a state-operated monopoly, named Telegrafverket
as a provider of telegraph services. The first ideas for a telegraph were
launched within the Royal Norwegian Navy in 1848, but by 1852 the plans were
public and the Parliament of Norway decided on a plan for constructing the
telegraph throughout the country. Televerket began by building from Christiania
(now Oslo) to Sweden (Norway was at that time in a union with Sweden) as well as
between Christiania and Drammen. By 1857 the telegraph had reached Bergen (west
coast) via Sørlandet (south coast) and by 1871 it had reached Kirkenes (north
coast). Cable connections were opened to Denmark in 1867 and to Great Britain in
1869. The telegraph was most important for the merchant marine who now could use
the electric telegraph to instantly communicate between different locations, and
get a whole new advantage within logistics.


The first telephone service in Norway was offered in 1878 between Arendal and
Tvedestrand, while the first international telephone service between Christiania
and Stockholm was offered in 1893. Automation of the telephone system was
started in 1920 and completed in 1985. In 1946 the first Telex service was
offered, and in 1976 satellite telephone connections to oil platforms in the
North Sea were installed. In 1980 the first steps to digitalise the telephone
network were taken.

Televerket opened its first manual mobile telephone system in 1966, being
replaced with the automatic NMT system in 1981 and the enhanced NMT-900 in 1986.
Norway was the first country in Europe to get an automatic mobile telephone
system. The digital GSM system came into use in 1993; the GSM standard was
developed in Norway by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU),
but no mobile phone manufacturers emerged in the country. The third generation
of mobile technology with UMTS system began full operation 2004. The Opera web
browser was created in 1994 by Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner and Geir Ivarsøy
during their tenure at Telenor. Opera Software was established in 1995 after the
pair went on to continue development of their browser.


Deregulation and internationalisation

The corporation changed its name to Televerket in 1969. In 1994, the then
Norwegian Telecom was established as a public corporation. The authorities
wanted to deregulate the telecom sector in Norway, and sector by sector was
deregulated between 1994 to 1998. An attempt to merge Telenor with its
counterpart in Sweden, Telia, failed in 1999, while both still were owned by
their respective governments. On December 4, 2000 the company was partially
privatised and listed on Oslo Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. The privatisation gave
the company NOK 15,6 billion in new capital, the Government of Norway owning
77.7% of the company after the privatisation. By 2006 the governments ownership
has been reduced to 53%.

In the second half of the 1990s, Telenor became involved in mobile operations in
a number of countries: Russia (1994), Bangladesh, Greece, Ireland, Germany and
Austria (1997), Ukraine (1998), Malaysia (1999), Denmark and Thailand (2000),
Hungary (2002), Montenegro (2004), Pakistan (2004), Slovakia, Czech Republic,
Serbia (2006). Operations in Greece, Ireland and Germany were sold in 1999/2000
and profits were re-invested in the emerging markets. In October 2005 Telenor
acquired Vodafone Sweden, changing the name to Telenor in April 2006. On 31 July
2006, Telenor acquired 100 per cent share of mobile operator Mobi 63, one of two
mobile operations existing in that moment in Serbia for Euro 1.513 billion.

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Has laoreet percipitur ad. Vide interesset in mei, no his legimus verterem. Et nostrum imperdiet appellantur usu, mnesarchum referrentur id vim.

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