Telenor to create Nordic cluster after taking control of DNA

Telenor to create ‘Nordic cluster’ after taking control of DNA Finland

27 September 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Cover

Telenor has won ownership of 94.36% of the shares of Finnish operator DNA and plans to include the company in a new Nordic cluster of its businesses in the region.

That means its operations in Norway – where Telenor is based – as well as Denmark, Finland and Sweden will be run as a single region.

Meanwhile the company has opened Scandinavia’s largest 5G pilot in the Norwegian municipality of Elverum, making Telenor Norway the country’s first operator to integrate 5G into its mobile network.

Telenor’s move into Finland has been rapid. The company bought 54% of DNA for a total of €1.9 billion only a few weeks ago. It then offered the same €20.90 a share for the rest, and pushed its holding to almost 95%.

DNA has 2.8 million customers, meaning the expanded Telenor group has 10 million customers in Europe, out of 181 million worldwide.

Telenor group CFO, Jørgen Arentz Rostrup, said: “Telenor group sees great potential for DNA to continue to grow and develop. This includes strengthening its customer offerings and position in the business segment, as well as leveraging on Telenor’s global scale and strong position in the Nordic region.”

Telenor is looking for someone to head its expanded Nordic operations. Morten Karlsen Sørby, EVP and acting head of the current Scandinavia cluster, will step down from his role after 26 years at the company and 15 years as part of the group executive management.

Meanwhile Sigve Brekke, Telenor group president and CEO, took part in the first live 5G video call in Norway. “Connectivity is fundamental to modern societies and with 5G we open up for completely new experiences and applications for our customers and partners,” he said. “Exploring this technology here in Norway means that we can learn, test and continuously improve as we gradually introduce 5G to our markets.”

Anyone with a 5G phone will be able to use the service in Elverum, just over 100km north of Oslo – and in other cities as it is expanded. Next on the list is Fornebu, home of Telenor’s group headquarters.

Telenor’s supplier for Norway is Ericsson. Rival vendor Nokia will be supplying Telenor Denmark.