Press Release

Telenor holds 5th Sustainable Business Briefing

30 March, 2018 - Yangon

  • Reports on range of business sustainability opportunities and risks
  • Highlights its support to economic growth, mobile connectivity and raising standards.

Telenor Myanmar today hosted the company’s fifth annual sustainability briefing. Telenor presented an update on its ongoing work within key sustainability areas as well as new initiatives contributing to sustainable, responsible business growth as Myanmar moves toward a digital society. 
Telenor reiterated that its commitment to Myanmar remains firm, and that its mission is to provide mobile connectivity to everyone in Myanmar, develop people and ecosystems, and to do business the right way. Among its key achievements for 2017, Telenor highlighted its support to economic growth, continued focus on mobile connectivity and continued efforts in raising business standards. 
“Telenor’s services play a central role in the daily lives of more than 19 million people in Myanmar, and our business presence impacts the livelihood of thousands of workers that direct or indirect are part of our workforce. As I look back at 2017, I am satisfied that our focus on ethical and responsible practices is an integrated part of our business, and that all our products are delivered to our customers in a safe and sustainable way”, says Lars Erik Tellmann, CEO of Telenor Myanmar. 
“Having the right conditions for growth of the telecommunication sector has hugely benefitted Myanmar, and the country has rapidly moved to the digital frontline with full mobile penetration and nationwide coverage. As Myanmar realizes its unique opportunity to build an inclusive digital economy for all, we strengthen our focus towards rule of law, serving ethnic areas, empowering our workforce, and building digital skills in all parts of society,” Lars Erik Tellmann continues.    
Telenor Myanmar’s 5th annual Sustainable Business Briefing is part of the company’s commitment to be open and transparent on business opportunities, sustainability challenges, and key issues in Myanmar. Doing business the right way is Telenor’s prime focus, and a central part of Telenor’s continuous efforts in ensuring a constructive and responsible telecom sector in Myanmar.

A recording of the presentation and relevant material will be made available on Telenor’s webpages.


Key highlights Connectivity : 

  • Telenor has built the country’s largest mobile network. With more than 8000 sites in all states, regions and the union territory, Telenor has network footprint in almost all townships in Myanmar. 
  • Telenor network is covering more than 90% of Myanmar’s population. 
  • Network usage is record high, and we observe monthly average usage for 4G customers reaching 5.6GB / month – higher than developed cities like Singapore.
  • Over the last 12 months Telenor invested a further $160m in acquiring new spectrum for our 4G services. Telenor network now covers over 135 cities and townships with award-winning 4G services.

Impact to economy: 

  • Telenor has to date invested over USD 2 billion, and will continue to spend to improve coverage and quality in the coming years. 
  • Telenor has to date not repatriated a single Kyat of Myanmar profits, having reinvested all earnings back into the operations.
  • Generating tax revenue is vital in any developing economy and Myanmar is no exception. Telenor has so far contributed Kyat 378 billion in taxes, spectrum and license fees to the Union Government and the country. 
  • Telenor’s social responsibility programmes have positively impacted over 540,000 beneficiaries in Myanmar, mainly in the area of digital literacy and mobile health.

Supply chain integrity: 

  • As of end 2017, Telenor conducted more than 12,000 on-site inspections to ensure compliance. About 99% of these inspections were unannounced.
  • In addition, our suppliers also run their own parallel inspections to ensure compliance with our standards – over 14,000 have been completed as of the end of 2017.
  • Significant decline in rate of “major findings” - defined as working at height without full safety gear, unsafe excavation, underage labour and child labour and contractual non-compliance to Telenor standards & national laws – at 15% quarter on quarter since inception to date.
  • Despite a number of challenges in previous years, child and underage labour have not been detected in our supply chain from 2017 onwards, mainly because suppliers and their sub-suppliers have better understood our standards and the consequences of not meeting these standards.

Energy innovation:

  • Close to 60% of Telenor’s sites are connected to the grid. The remaining sites not connected to the grid consumed a total of 40 million liters of diesel in 2017.
  • Telenor currently has 177 solar hybrid, and plans to increase this to at least 1400 by end this year. 
  • Land zoning issues forbidding towers in paddy and fallow land remains an issue – today, only 5% of our sites are in paddy field. Telenor urges the government’s assistance to allow construction on paddy and fallow land outside villages to further reduce our noise impact.

Authority Requests:

  • Telenor has since 2014 put in place an interim arrangement for evaluating requests for the release of authority requests for personal data. These only apply to cases involving murder, missing persons, and drugs.
  • Since October 2014, Telenor received 124 formal requests for release of historical communication data. Only 42 out of these requests met with Telenor’s internal compliance standards, whereupon the required information was released via Posts and Telecommunications Department.
  • To date, Telenor has not received any requests for network shutdowns, censorship, or blocking. 
  • Telenor strongly encourages the Government to put in place the Cybercrime and Electronic Evidence Act in order to create a secure digital environment for customers, digital service providers, and Government.

Rule of law: 

  • Telenor is encouraged by the government’s actions and achievements in improving the persistence of rule of law nationwide. However, Telenor still has to use significant resources to enforce the company’s legal rights.
  • Within telecom industry, it is vital that all operators abide by the Competition Law, Telecom Law and their rules and regulations at all times to ensure free and fair competition. Telenor encourages the regulator to enforce regulations across all 4 operators equally to ensure a level playing field.
  • Telenor reiterates calls for establishing an independent regulator to ensure decisions are taken in line with long term national interest.
  • Next phase of rollout will be in low population rural areas and providing affordable services in these areas will require infrastructure sharing. It is therefore vital that a future independent regulator looks into this area with high priority.

Empowering people: 

  • Telenor has also invested significantly in bringing expertise from all across Telenor Group to Myanmar. Today, experienced international staff of 15 nationalities work alongside local employees to provide guidance and mentorship.
  • Women are a significant source of quality human capital. Today 40% of our employees are women, and 30% of leadership positions occupied by women. We are the first in Myanmar to offer 6-month maternity leave and flexible working hours.   
  • Telenor continues to invest in growth and development for all staff. So far more than 130 high performing employees have been allowed to attend executive development programmes at top universities like London Business School and INSEAD.



Alex Nyi Nyi Aung (Mr.)
Corporate Communications, Telenor Myanmar Ltd

My Account
Live Chat
Share Share