Telenor Group believes that mobile internet is a catalyst for growth and that it should be accessible to everyone. Through our vision of “Internet for All”, we are committed to building a digital future for all the people of Asia.
THE REGIONAL SITUATION
Telenor’s Asian markets have seen an unprecedented rate of mobile data growth and demand, and GSM Association’s data shows that mobile broadband connections in the Asia Pacific region are set to almost double to 2.1 billion by 2017.
While our Asian markets grow and internet penetration increases, Telenor remains sensitive to segments of the population that are being left behind by the digital revolution. Significant among these are senior citizens. All across Asia, the number of people aged 65 and above is expected to grow dramatically in the near term. This rising generation of individuals who did not grown up with technology and who are not in the position to easily acquire new technical skills, will be at a considerable disadvantage as the world moves online – not only their younger loved ones who naturally use technology to communicate, but also commercial and public services, from basic information to paying bills, and receiving healthcare.
As aging populations are anticipated to be a major factor in the economic and social development of the entire region in the near future, it is important that we as societies remain aware of senior connectivity, both as a means of preventing social isolation and increasing and prolonging productivity among this segment of the population. Indeed, encouraging digital inclusion is not only socially conscious, but it can also be profitable: already, sophisticated marketers in Japan – one of the most rapidly aging economies in the world – are beginning to see the value of tailoring products specifically to the needs of the senior segment.
Unfortunately, from data gathered by Telenor from our local Asian business units, it is evident that elderly populations throughout Asian markets are less engaged with the internet, particularly via mobile.