It was formerly state operated, and called Televerket. The Norwegian state owns a majority share of its stock.
Following the 1998 telecom deregulation in Norway, several local (PowerTech, ..) and foreign (Telia, Tele2, WorldCom, ..) companies established themselves as new entrants in the Norwegian telecommunications markets, initially providing carrier pre-selection ("prefiks")-based services.
Telenor is also the largest Internet Service Provider in Norway. However, during 1999, the company for the first time experienced major competition in the dial-up services arena when Start Networks and Sense Communications started offering free dial-up Internet access. These competirors combined hold more than a million registered users, a large part of the Norwegian dial-up market.
Telenor was forced to provide Local loop unbundling in 2000, and subsequently providers of DSL services such as Catch Communications, NextGenTel and PowerTech flourished, in addition to Telenor itself. There is good geographic coverage for DSL, and prices are relatively low, so DSL has become the major access vehicle for Norwegian Internet users lately, to some extent replacing dial-up access.