97 percent of respondents in emerging markets reported "life changes" due to connectivity, including a transformation in the way they complete everyday tasks, such as banking, accessing local information, entertainment, healthcare and civic life engagement, according to a Global Bandwidth Index Report commissioned by Juniper Networks.
This is in contrast to the 22 percent of consumers in developed nations who report that connectivity has not had a significant impact on their lives.
The report surveyed 5,500 adults in emerging markets, comprising Brazil, China, India and South Africa; as well as developed markets, which includes Australia, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Juniper said in its media statement that networks in emerging markets tend to be slower and less reliable, whereas developed markets are rapidly progressing towards implementing high bandwidth Long Term Evolution (LTE), which are 100 times faster than older networks.
The report also uncovers a corresponding impact on people's perception of economic opportunity. For instance, 40 percent of respondents noted that connectivity has improved their earning power, as compared to only 17 percent in developed markets. Also, more than half of consumers (60 percent) believe that connectivity has transformed their social lives, unlike the 38 percent in developed countries.
Purpose of connected devices differ
According to the report, people in emerging markets often use connected devices as a tool for personal advancement and self-improvement, unlike those in developed countries, who are much more focused on convenience and efficiency.
In fact, nearly twice as many people in emerging markets regularly use connected devices for educational purposes than those in developed markets. Furthermore, 46 percent of respondents in emerging countries use connected devices for professional development, as compared to only 27 percent in developed markets.
It is also found that people in developed nations are more likely to use connected devices for practically day-to-day activities such as banking (51 percent), shopping (41 percent) and searching for local information (42 percent).
Additionally, education is a prime area in which people in developing countries are more likely to utilise connectivity to help them get ahead. 39 percent of people in developing nations surveyed have experienced a significant transformation in their education access thanks to connectivity. In developed countries, that number is less than half.
In India, for example, 45 percent of respondents say that connectivity has fundamentally changed how they access textbooks, complete coursework or use teaching tools, compared with just seven percent in Japan.
"The Juniper Networks Global Bandwidth Index suggests that this transformation will continue as new technologies emerge, network speeds increase and hundreds of millions of people who aren't yet connected to the Internet gain access," said Mike Marcellin, senior vice president, strategy and marketing, Juniper Networks.
"The report reveals an opportunity for service providers to continue to deliver new, life-changing services in areas like education, particularly in emerging markets where there is a great demand," he added.
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