Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke (pictured) used the company’s Q4 earnings statement to sound a warning about risks associated with increased use of AI, arguing investment in appropriate security measures are equally important to counter new and emerging threats.

Brekke noted digitalisation reached new heights in 2023, with services including water supply, payment solutions, emergency and healthcare all to a large extent becoming digital.

However, this ultimately leads to greater vulnerability, “which is why investments in digital security are just as important as investment in artificial intelligence”, he said.

In total, the Norwegian operator claims it stopped around 300 million attempts at digital crime against customers in Q4 alone, an increase of around 30 per cent compared to the previous quarter.

With AI on the rise, criminal groups have gained access to new toolbox and it was crucial for individuals and businesses to adapt to a new era of threats, insisted Brekke.

On to the numbers, Brekke hailed a strong quarter, with revenue up to NOK21 billion ($2 billion) from NOK19.7 billion year-on-year, with service revenue increasing 7 per cent NOK16.1 billion. Telenor Nordics and Telenor Asia delivered 4 per cent and 7 percent service revenue growth respectively, with Brekke pointing to a strong mobile network performance and gains in Finland.

However, the company reported a net loss of NOK7.4 billion, with the figure mainly impacted by an impairment flagged earlier this week from its investment in Thailand’s True Corp.