There was no shortage of major milestones in 2010. It was a year of innovation and invention, ushering in a new decade where anything seems possible. Here’s a look at some of the year’s most remarkable happenings, according to Telenor.
1. The world’s first WLAN SIM – Telenor and its partners developed the very first SIM card with integrated radio and antennae. With WLAN, the SIM card is able to communicate directly with other WLAN-enabled devices. This allows for a number of new applications that contribute to simplifying and enhancing the user experience and increasing the security that the SIM card provides for mobile handsets.2. Connectivity becomes standard in new electric car – Telenor has been working with machine-to-machine (M2M) technology in vehicles for a decade, and now with the advent of more and more electric cars on the road, the company is seeing new potential for its connectivity solutions. In 2010, Telenor Connexion was selected to supply connectivity for Nissan LEAF’s “CARWINGS” intelligent transport (IT) system, allowing connection between the electric cars’ sophisticated onboard transmitting unit and Nissan’s CARWINGS Data Center. Owners of this 100 percent electric vehicle have constant access to data and information, providing greater convenience, comfort and peace of mind.
3. LTE is a reality – In 2010, Telenor Sweden became the first within the Telenor Group to launch a 4G network. With the promise of speed, LTE (a.k.a. 4G) is already available in several major cities throughout Sweden, with the goal of 100 locations by 2013. Network upgrades are underway in Norway, Hungary and Malaysia, with network rollouts planned for the not-so-distant future.
4. mHealth takes center stage – mHealth became a buzz word in 2010, as the merger of healthcare and mobile telephony generated increased interest around the world. Telenor completed its mHealth research project to help the elderly live in their own homes longer, delaying institutionalized care with the help of sensor-based devices connected to the medical alert system. In developing nations such as Bangladesh and Pakistan, Telenor used its mobile network to provide a link to medical care for citizens in remote areas. From diagnostics, to tracking and monitoring, to direct communication with a doctor, mHealth solutions are often the first line of care for many rural and underserved populations.
5. Banking the unbanked with the mobile phone – With banking locations few and far between in many parts of the world, the mobile phone is becoming a natural player in the financial services arena. Telenor Pakistan’s easypaisa service took off in 2010 by adding “mobile accounts” to its list of services. Through this offering, the mobile phone became the virtual bank account, allowing users to go to any easypaisa retailer and make their money transactions. Easypaisa has now expanded to offer savings and insurance services to customers.
6. Mobile network operators make “going green” official in 2010 – In November 2010, the GSM Association announced its partnership with Telenor, China Mobile and Telefónica to help the entire mobile industry lower its energy bill and reduce operator-generated carbon emissions. By sharing benchmark measurements with the industry, Telenor and the GSM are making headway towards lowering energy consumption and costs, and reducing the carbon footprint of the mobile industry.
7. Getting down with digital media – In a world of powerful handsets and ever-improving network capabilities, digital media is swiftly taking over the mobile platform and serving as one of the key differentiators when customers now make their purchasing decisions. Gaming, music, movies and social media are becoming increasingly standard on the mobile screen and mobile operators such as Telenor are quickly adapting their customer offerings to meet the new needs of customers.
8. The tablet emerges as the new “must have” device – Telenor Norway was the first in the Telenor Group to release the much anticipated iPad to the Apple hungry market. Telenor Norway is now experiencing a new demand for connectivity beyond the computer and mobile phone. Apple has opened the floodgates for the tablet market, and new vendors are catching on and catching up with Apple, to the delight of tablet consumers. In the words of Telenor Norway’s Chief Strategy Officer Bjørn Ivar Moen, “the iPad is just the beginning.” Telenor expects a flood of new device types to reach consumers, with the aim of increasing convenience and ease of access to Web content.
9. Mobile Internet 2G style – Who said you need 3G to speedily surf the mobile Web? Telenor customers now know better. After announcing its partnership with Opera Software to bring the Opera Mini Web browser to its customers around the world, Telenor is now able to offer full Web surfing capabilities on all types of handsets in its networks. Telenor Serbia and Telenor Montenegro have already launched the Internet offer, called “Klik”, to resounding approval from customers. Thanks to server-side compression, 2G feels like 3G while checking e-mail, reading the news or updating Facebook from nearly any old phone.
10. Mobile phone connections top 5 billion worldwide – We now live in a world where the mobile phone just may be the most commonly owned device among consumers. In July 2010, the BBC reported that mobile connections now surpassed 5 billion, with most growth stemming from Asia-Pacific, including India and China. Trying to capture a bit of this growth, Telenor completed its first full year of operations in India. In the first three quarters of 2010 alone, Uninor captured a total of 7.9 million new subscribers, a successful debut in one of the world’s largest and most competitive mobile markets.