Next phase of Telenor in Asia begins in Malaysia

Historic merger marks new chapter in Malaysia’s digitalisation journey. Photo: Telenor

As a clear sign of how Telenor is executing on the strategy it presented at the Capital Markets Day in September, Celcom Digi commenced its operations on 1 December and thereby kickstarted operations for the new Malaysian telco Celcom Digi.

The new company is a merger of Axiata subsidiary Celcom and Telenor subsidiary Digi of which Telenor and Axiata are equal owners having equal operational influence through Board representation. The merger is expected to create an approximately $10 billion converged operator in Malaysia.

Sigve Brekke, President and CEO of Telenor Group, is confident Celcom Digi will play a key role in setting Malaysia up for the digital future.

– This is truly a special day, both for our customers in Malaysia and Telenor (…) The company is in a pole position when it comes to creating more customer value, the CEO said.

The objective of the merger is to establish a leading market player that can provide a greater impact and be a strong local partner for high-value customers, enterprises, and SMEs while playing an important role in Malaysia’s digital aspiration.

EVP and Head of Telenor Asia, Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup, said the new entity is taking the best from both companies and called the merger a momentous milestone for Telenor’s work to build scale and profitable business as well as manage risk more efficiently in the Asia region.

Telenor embarked on its Asian journey in Bangladesh in 1997, bought its first stake in Digi in 1999 and has today reached 165 million customers in the region. Sigve Brekke is proud of how Digi, in 22 years, has developed into an innovative and customer focused telecom operator and contributed to empowering the Malaysian society.

– For Telenor’s operations in Asia, our ability to provide value to customers and society require new thinking. With Celcom Digi, we can stay competitive, drive growth, build scale, and enhance execution capabilities and innovation momentum, said Rostrup.

Telenor representatives on the Celcom Digi board include Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup (Deputy Chair), Rita Skjærvik, and Håkon Kjøl.

As a continuation of Telenor’s Asia business established in 2020, the creation of Telenor Asia was announced in October 2022 and is a more autonomous regional entity with headquarters in Singapore that has complete oversight and responsibility for the company’s operations in the region.

Telenor and CP Group are aiming at completing an amalgamation of the subsidiaries dtac and True in Thailand within the first quarter of 2023.


About Jeannette Hinrup

Jeannette Sophie Hinrup is a Danish environmental geographer traveling South East Asia while writing for ScandAsia.

View all posts by Jeannette Hinrup

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