Elderly populations throughout Asian markets are less engaged with the internet, particularly via mobile, according to a new report by Telenor.
Only about 10% of Telenor's 45.6 million subscribers in India are over 45 years of age and only 6% of mobile phone users in India are over 50 years of age.
Telenor's local subsidiary in Bangladesh is Grameenphone. Only about one million of Grameenphone's 52 million customers are above 60, and only 2% of its user base is over 60 years of age.
In Malaysia, Telenor's local business unit DiGi reports that only 3.9% of the local user base is over the age of 60.
Mobile internet remains less popular among older internet users even in the developed world. In Europe, only 11% of internet users over a three month period aged between 55 and 74 connected to the internet from mobile devices.
Complexity of the services
Perceived utility and complexity of the services are the top reasons consumers don't use mobile data.
29% of the respondents in India said they have no reason to use the mobile internet and 24% find mobile internet to be "too complicated."
The vast majority of the elderly still use basic and feature phones in Bangladesh.
National prosperity has a strong correlation with the prevalence of mobile internet usage in Thailand and Malaysia.
To address these issues in Asia, manufacturers have decided to offer handsets with larger icons and buttons to seniors citizens in the region. ICT mentoring programs for seniors should also encourage mobile data use.
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