History

Telenor in Denmark is a merge of the mobile telco Sonofon and the internet provider Cybercity. The merge took place in June 2009.

Sonofon’s history

Sonofon was established in 1991. It was the first challenger in the Danish telecoms market following the Danish Folketing’s decision to liberalize the telecoms market by inviting bids for new GSM900 mobile licenses. This was a result of the move by what was then the EEC to deregulate the European telephony market.

GN Great Nordic (DK) and BellSouth (USA) established Sonofon in September 1991 together with two smaller shareholders. March 1992 saw the first mobile calls on the new GSM network. In July 1992, Sonofon commenced commercial operations and started selling mobile subscriptions. Head Office was located in Aalborg with its especially innovative telecommunications environment due to the high standard of engineering at Aalborg University. In April 1994, Sonofon was the first telco in the world to make a mobile datacoms call.

In following years, Sonofon set up operations at more than 20 locations across the country. Towards the end of the decade, Sonofon opted to relocate the Head Office to Copenhagen and new premises at Frederikskaj in Copenhagen were officially opened in April 1999. In the summer of 2000, The Norwegian telco acquired GN Great Nordic’s holding in Sonofon for NOK 13.1bn.

In 2001, Sonofon passed the one million customer mark and the Danish State selected Sonofon as its provider for all mobile and fixed line calls in State institutions for the following two years. It was the biggest telephone contract ever and took Sonofon’s share of the business market to almost 40%.

In December 2003, Telenor acquired BellSouth’s holding in Sonofon, thus becoming its sole owner. In the course of the following years, CBB, Canal Digital and Cybercity also became part of the Norwegian Telenor Group, which had plans for pan-Nordic operations. At the end of 2005, Sonofon won the bidding for a 3G license, thus strengthening the group's position as one of the telecoms providers of the future in Denmark.

Through the next years Sonofon extends its network of dealerships remarkably by signing contracts with the retail chains Føtex og Expert. In 2009 Sonofon and Cybercity is merged in one company under the Telenor brand.

Cybercity’s history

Cybercity was founded by the entrepreneur Claus Riskær Pedersen in 1995 as a smaller provider of dial-up internet connections with geographical focus on Sjælland. In 2000 the company was sold to the private equity firm Advent International. In spite of the financial hard times in the IT industry in 2001, Cybercity succeeded in attracting 440 million DKK in investor capital.

Following a massive restructuring of the company took place. The strategy was revised and a certain focus was laid on business to business sales as well as the geographical focus was extended to the entire country. This way the new organisation with Henrik Clausen as CEO managed to reach a growth at 30 % and a strong position as Denmark’s second largest provider of DSL connections.

In 2005 Cybercity presented the first positive full-year result at 59 million DKK as planned. Through the years Cybercity has invested more than 800 million DKK in its own network and switching as well as an IP-based production platform. The Nordic Telenor Group bought Cybercity in May 2005.