Mobile Internet improves quality of life and boosts digital inclusion

Over the past 25 years, mobile connectivity has exploded in Asia, creating new industries, reshaping media and transforming the way people connect with each other.

But since the Covid-19 outbreak, the world has witnessed the next wave of mass digital engagement and accelerating growth in South and Southeast Asian markets.

Telenor Asia recently conducted a survey of 8,000 mobile internet users in eight markets in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in South and Southeast Asia. Is on the occasion of Telenor’s 25th anniversary in Asia.

The first part of the study titled “Digital Lives Decoded” focuses on life and reveals five key trends that act as catalysts for the rise of digital adoption.

To reveal the findings of the study, an event was recently organized by Grameenphone.

The Digital Lives Decoded study revealed a common appreciation for an “always on” life, with 91% of Bangladeshi respondents believing that mobile use improves quality of life.

Overall, women lead this trend, with 63% saying the quality of life has improved significantly, compared to 52% of men in the region. While in Bangladesh, 59% of women are in favor of mobile phones improving their lives, compared to 50% of men.

“Compared to before the pandemic, mobile data usage has more than doubled in most Asian markets, reshaping the way we communicate at work and at home. This study also revealed where digital gaps remain. The need to understand these gaps is becoming increasingly important for policy makers, businesses and individuals. The insights gained from this study can thus serve as a map of where to bridge the widest digital divides,” Telenor Asia Director Jorgen C Arentz Rostrup said in his keynote address.

Almost all respondents said they keep their phone with them for a significant part of the day, with one in five never taking their phone off.

However, around 71% of Bangladeshis surveyed believe they find a good balance when it comes to using technology. In Bangladesh, 91% of users use their phone for at least half of their day, and 20% of respondents always use their phone.

The acceleration in digital adoption over the past two years shows no signs of slowing down, with 73% of Bangladeshis planning to increase their mobile usage over the next two years.

Across the region, 85% of respondents are concerned about developing the skills needed to keep up with technological change.

Bangladeshi respondents are the most worried users, at 97%. Younger respondents are more worried, with 68% of Gen Z respondents and 69% of Millennials being among the most concerned.

There are also major concerns about the privacy and security of mobile devices in the region, with 97% of Bangladeshi respondents expressing concern.

In Bangladesh, while baby boomers are the most likely to report significant quality of life improvements from using their mobile phone (71%), they are also the most concerned about risks to privacy and security that comes with this use (89%). , according to the report.

This contrasts with the regional results where Gen Z and Millennial respondents were the most concerned about their online privacy and safety.

The study also showed that people are optimistic about the potential of mobile technology to help them lead more sustainable lives.

74% of Bangladeshi respondents think digital access is very beneficial for leading a greener life. 69% of Bangladeshi respondents believe the greatest benefits lie in the areas of reduced paper, waste and electricity and the ability to communicate more effectively.

Respondents also believe that mobile connectivity can play an important role in promoting inclusion – with mobile connectivity ensuring better access to essential services such as education (64%) and health services (55%) for the people.

Interestingly, more women than men find that mobile connectivity has improved their options for working and generating income, while helping them achieve greater efficiency and productivity in daily life, according to the study.

“As mobile connectivity becomes even more fundamental in our daily lives, lack of adequate skills and awareness, including navigating security and privacy issues, or being off-grid can severely restrict access. to education, healthcare, economic opportunity and jobs We need to better understand digital gaps and how to close them, and the carbon footprint of our online habits as we work together to create a future where mobile connectivity is empowering and sustainable for all, Jorgen Rostrup also said.

Grameenphone CEO Yasir Azman said, “To live our purpose of empowering societies, Grameenphone has been striving to minimize the digital divide through connectivity since its inception.”

“Today, at 25 years old, and aspiring to create an impact beyond connectivity for years to come, we look back on our journey, to close the gaps and further improve our consumers’ digital lifestyles and Survey results reveal the same thing,” he added.

“I am happy to see that our efforts are paying off, as connectivity has helped ensure equal opportunities for all. We hope that the ongoing digitalization and innovation will lead to a sustainable and better future,” added Yasir Azman.

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