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Three out of four Norwegians have mobiles they do not use

Press release   •   Mar 23, 2015 07:00 GMT

(Fornebu, 23 March 2015) Norwegians have almost 10 million old mobile phones lying in their cupboards and drawers. This is the equivalent of NOK 300 million in potential income for grass roots Norwegian sport. Today marks the launch of a new season of Telenor and the Norwegian Confederation of Sports' mobile collection scheme "Old Phone, New Life".

77 per cent of Norwegians say they have one or more old mobile phones that they do not use. 26 per cent say they have three or more mobiles at homes, according to a new a survey conducted by Norstat on behalf of Telenor. 

Fond of mobiles
One possible explanation for Norwegians keeping old mobiles may be that we are quite simply fond of them. In the survey, every second respondent says they really like their mobile phone. 

Among others, women are more fond of their mobile than men, while younger people also like their mobiles more than the elderly. Six out of ten people between 18 and 34 years old are really fond of their mobile.

'The figures suggest that Norwegians have an emotional connection to their mobiles. But the world of sport needs these discarded items badly - so allow me to quote Sting: "If you love them, set them free,"' says Berit Svendsen, CEO of Telenor Norway. 

Ten million mobiles
There are nearly ten million used mobile phones in Norwegian homes. These can be used by Norwegian sport to realise income through the mobile return campaign "Old Phone, New Life". With 30 kroner earned for each phone handed in, our old mobiles are worth a total of NOK 300 million, which can be used for things like football tournaments, ski gates and ball courts. 

As of today, sports teams can register to take part in the collection effort. A new feature this year is that team registration is no longer on a first come, first served basis. All teams can take part. 

'We want to invite all eager children and young people out there who need income. No matter what the quality of the phone is, we pay all clubs 30 kroner per phone handed in. So now all that remains is for team managers to register their clubs, and people to open their doors when the kids ring the doorbell,' Berit Svendsen says encouragingly. 

Since 2009, it has become Norway's largest environmental voluntary effort thanks to its success in collecting more than 500,000 mobile phones. In total, in excess of NOK 18 million has been generated for Norwegian sport through the collection scheme.

'It's been a battle to be involved in the mobile return scheme in years gone by, but now that all sports teams that want to can participate, I can't envisage anything except a new record number of mobiles being collected. In any case, I want to encourage all sports teams around the country to join in this environmental voluntary effort. It is an initiative that makes a difference to the environment while also putting cash in the club coffers,' says President of the Norwegian Confederation of Sports, Børre Rognlien.

Jansrud is an environmental ambassador
A used mobile can also find a new owner in the emerging markets of Asia. Some of the mobile phones collected are in such good condition that they can be repaired and sent back into the market. 

Other mobiles are disassembled and recycled. 90 per cent of a mobile phone can be recovered. It is a great way to protect the environment, and something that downhill skier Kjetil Jansrud wholeheartedly agrees with. He is the campaign's ambassador.
'It's also natural for me as a winter athlete to engage in a campaign with such a clear environmental message. I notice the lack of snow as I travel around. We can all do our little bit, so I encourage everyone to let go of their old flame and instead support your local sports team by providing them with important income,' says Jansrud. 

How to register your team
Go to or to register your sports team. Registration opens from today, 23 March, and will close at the end of Monday 6 April. Collections may begin when sports team have received collection materials in the post. In the meantime, you can dig out your old mobiles and be ready for when the sports team rings your doorbell. 

• How many old mobiles do you have lying around that you don't use?
One: 30 per cent. Two: 21 per cent. Three or more: 26 per cent.
• One out of two Norwegians says they are very fond of their mobile phone. People from Oslo have a closer relationship with their mobile than those from the rest of the country. Six out of ten people in Oslo say they are very fond of their mobile.
• Young people like their mobiles more than older people: 60 per cent of those aged 18-34 years old versus 38 per cent of those aged over 55.
• Women like their mobiles more than men: 53 per cent versus 42 per cent.
Source: Norstat 

For more information, please contact:
Ana Brodtkorb, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Telenor Norway
Tel.: 902 09 832, email:
Morten Schønfeldt, Marketing Director at the Norwegian Confederation of Sports
Tel.: 922 00 878, email:

About Telenor Norway

Telenor Norway is the biggest supplier of mobile and network services.

We deliever services within telephony, broadband and cable TV  through our mobile and fixed network all over Norway. We also sell our services to other telecom operators in Norway.

We have 4200 employees diveded over 30 workplaces all over Norway included Svalbard.