Telenor Asia aims to build leading operators in all markets

Telenor Group has revealed how it improved business performance across four markets in Asia during 2022.
Telenor grows in Asia
Last year, Telenor Asia has become an autonomous entity to manage Asian operations from a regional headquarters in Singapore.

Telenor completed the merger of CelcomDigi in Malaysia in December 2022.

Telenor is on track with the True-dtac merger in Thailand.

Telenor divested telecom operations in Myanmar, due to the military coup that happened in 2021.

“2022 marked a significant turning point for Telenor in Asia. After 25 years in the region, change is happening fast and business environments are less predictable, but our first-mover spirit which brought us to Asia remains intact,” Jorgen C Arentz Rostrup, Head of Telenor Asia, said in a blog post.

Telenor Asia aims to build leading operators in all markets. In Malaysia, partnership with Axiata resulted in the creation of CelcomDigi, the country’s largest locally listed technology company and a stronger digital partner for customers.

In Bangladesh, Grameenphone is the number one operator with nearly 80 million customers. In 2022, the company added 2,200 new 4G sites and connected over a third of its towers to fiber to meet the growing data demands of their customers. Grameenphone’s revenue rose by 5.5 percent in 2022 despite adverse regulatory headwinds.

Grameenphone Bangladesh has achieved 4 percent growth in service revenues, driven by higher data usage, as well as price optimization initiatives. Total revenue of Grameenphone fell to NOK 15.508 billion in 2022 from NOK 14.464 billion in 2021.

The subscriber base of Grameenphone fell 2.7 million during the fourth quarter due to the ban on SIM card sales, which has restricted Grameenphone from subscriber acquisition activities. The ban was imposed at the end of June and lifted early January 2023. Grameenphone’s mobile customer base fell 5 percent to 79.1 million.

Telenor Pakistan’s revenue fell to NOK 5,188 million in 2022 vs 5,604 million in 2021 as performance was affected by high inflation and slow recovery from the flooding in the third quarter.

Telenor Pakistan’s subscriber base declined by 793,000 in the fourth quarter to 48 million. Telenor Pakistan’s service revenues decreased by 5 percent. Opex increased by 28 percent, mainly due to higher energy prices and costs related to mitigating network damages caused by the flooding. EBITDA declined by 17 percent.

Dtac Thailand’s mobile subscription base increased by 106,000 during the fourth quarter of 2022. ARPU of Dtac remained under pressure from intense competition, leading to 2 percent service revenues decline. Revenue of Dtac dropped to NOK 22.107 billion in 2022 vs NOK 21.878 billion in 2021.

The proposed deal between Telenor and CP Group to merge dtac and True in Thailand is expected to be completed within the first quarter of 2023. The combined True and dtac aims to offer digital and connectivity services for 60 million customers.