Aging Asia Left Behind by Mobile Revolution: Telenor research Shows only 6% of mobile users in India are over 50 years
Aging Asia Left Behind by Mobile Revolution: Telenor research Shows only 6% of mobile users in India are over 50 yearsTelenor Group

According to a new research by Telenor group, only a niche portion of senior citizens use internet connection on mobile phones. 

The research explains only 7% Indian users aged over 50 years use Internet connection on their mobile phones. On the survey, China appeared on the top, where 25% of users aged above 50 use internet connected phones, while Bangladesh appears at the bottom with only 2% of users.

As part of the research Telenor, the also surveyed 45.61 million Uninor number users in India to know why they avoid using Internet on Mobile phones and found a shocking result. While 29% users have said they have no reason to use mobile internet, 24% said using mobile internet is too complicated.

A demographic breakdown shows that only 10% of Uninor's subscribers in India are over 45 years of age. Meanwhile, of the total mobile phone users in India, only 6% are over 50 years of age. This difference is exacerbated for mobile data users, with only 1% being 50 years or older. Generally, non-data users have a lower income profile and higher age than the average mobile user.

"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," said Sigve Brekke, Executive Vice President and Head of Asia operations, Telenor Group

To increase the popularity, several phone manufacturers have already taken steps to offer handsets with larger icons and buttons, taking into consideration the physiological realities of aging.

Guidelines for website design too can ensure greater accessibility to the elderly, as have been implemented by Hong Kong government. At the same time, ICT mentoring programs for seniors, as Telenor has successfully rolled out in Norway to encourage mobile data use, may also be effective in this part of the world.