UPDATE 1-Telenor to focus on earning money off data traffic

Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:07am EDT

* Aims to spread mobile internet use in emerging markets

* Targets opex cash flow of NOK 28-30 bln in 2015

* Myanmar roll out 8 months after receiving licence (Adds detail)

OSLO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Mobile phone operator Telenor stuck by its 2015 guidance on Tuesday and said its focus will be on spreading mobile internet use after making a profit from data traffic in a few test markets.

Norwegian state-controlled Telenor, which has 150 million subscribers across Europe and Asia, said it targets an operating cash-flow of 28 billion to 30 billion crowns ($4.72 billion-$5.05 billion) by 2015 and sees Asia as its key focus area for growth.

Mobile operators around the world have struggled to earn money off the increasing popularity of data use because of the cost of investing in networks and as rivals scramble for customers by offering cheaper deals.

But Telenor's data-centric pricing models, first used in the Nordics and Thailand, have been seen by rivals as a test.

The new pricing structure allows for unlimited text and voice traffic and packages are priced only on data use.

In Myanmar, where Telenor won a licence earlier this year, it expects to roll out its service eight months after it receives the actual licence sometime in the fourth quarter.

Although Telenor would not say how much it would invest in the country, it said the cost will be lower than its peak funding needs were in India and Pakistan.

The firm also said it aimed for 5 billion crowns worth of cost saving in 2015. ($1 = 5.9376 Norwegian krones) (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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