Senior citizens not reaping benefits of mobile revolution: Telenor

NEW DELHI: While mobile Internet continues to explode across Asia, a recent research by the Telenor Group in four of its regional markets suggests that not all citizens in these societies are receiving access to the benefits of connectivity.


The Telenor Group released data from four Asian markets indicating that senior citizens are not fully receiving the benefits of the mobile Internet.


Titled “The unconnected senior citizens of Asia,” the research draws upon customer data from four Telenor markets: India, Thailand, Bangladesh and Malaysia. The findings suggest that the senior segment in some of these markets represent as little as two per cent of active mobile users, with still fewer using smartphones.”


A demographic breakdown shows that only 10 per cent of Uninor’s subscribers in India are over 45 years of age. Meanwhile, of the total mobile phone users in India, only six per cent are over 50 years of age.


This difference is exacerbated for mobile data users, with only one per cent being 50 years or older. Generally, non-data users have a lower income profile and higher age than the average mobile user.


The study also showed that basic and feature phones are prevalent among the elderly. GDP has a strong correlation with the prevalence of mobile Internet usage.


Telenor Group executive vice president and head of Asia operations Sigve Brekke said, “Given our vision of Internet for All, it is a source of concern for Telenor that senior citizens in our Asian markets are not fully receiving the benefits of the mobile internet. The Internet can be a vital way of maintaining civic participation and even receiving basic citizen services in the near future, and thus the findings should be of interest to multiple stakeholders, from policy makers to corporations, families, and individuals. This is particularly true as several Asian societies anticipate increasingly aging populations: we must work to achieve connectivity for all, not just the young.”

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