Press Releases

16
October 2006

Telenor congratulates Muhammad Yunus - Nobel Peace Prize winner

ISLAMABAD, October 16, 2006: Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank have received this year's Nobel Peace Prize. This announcement was made on Friday October 13, 2006 by the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo. Grameen Bank has been Telenor partner in Bangladesh for more than 10 years.

Telenor congratulated Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus who is one of the pioneers of micro-credit lending schemes for the poor in Bangladesh, and a key partner for Telenor's mobile operation, GrameenPhone.

GrameenPhone, the leading mobile phone operator in Bangladesh, was founded in 1996 in close cooperation between Telenor and Muhammad Yunus. From the very start of operation, GrameenPhone in close collaboration with Grameen Bank have offered the unique VillagePhone concept. VillagePhone is based on the micro-finance concept, offering low-cost loans to women, allowing them to buy a mobile phone and set up a mobile phone exchange service in the village.

Currently, there are more than 260,000 village phones in operation in Bangladesh, and GrameenPhone has more than 9.5 million customers.

We are proud of being a part of the development in Bangladesh and for working in close cooperation with Grameen Bank. We convey our sincere congratulations to Muhammad Yunus, for whom we have the deepest admiration. I am looking forward to expressing our greetings to him in person, says Jon Fredrik Baksaas, CEO of the Telenor Group.

Baksaas recently visited Pakistan and met with the President and the Prime Minister as well as other senior officials in the government.

GrameenPhone is a jointly owned company, where Telenor holds 62 per cent of the shares.

The Telenor group is an international provider of high quality telecommunications, data and media communication services. Telenor ranks as one of the biggest GSM service providers in the world with over 100 million subscribers. Telenor Pakistan is 100% owned by Telenor ASA and adds on to its operations in Asia together with Thailand, Malaysia and Bangladesh.