Nearly 73 per cent of Pakistanis believe that their quality of life has been enhanced with greater connectivity with friends and family, a new report released by Telenor Asia has revealed.
The report titled “Digital Lives Decoded“, released in conjunction with Telenor’s 25th anniversary in Asia, surveyed over 8,000 mobile internet users across eight countries in South and Southeast Asia (Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam).
The report revealed a common appreciation for the benefits of an “always-on” life – that mobile connectivity enriches relationships, delivers convenience, and makes it easier for people to participate in the digital economy.
“It is often reported that mobile usage comes between people, distracting users from those around them and damaging relationships and interpersonal communication skills.
However, this study dispels that notion. Compared to before the pandemic, mobile data usage has more than doubled in most Asian markets, reshaping how we communicate at work and at home.
Interestingly, this survey shows that people want the changes in digital use and their daily lives to stay. In fact, they continue to immerse themselves in a digital world despite rules on travel and social interaction being relaxed,” said Jorgen Rostrup, Head of Telenor Asia.
Irfan Wahab Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor Pakistan said, “In this constantly evolving world where there are more devices than people, how does that technology translate to a socioeconomic uplift is up to innovative solutions that we work towards. The mobile revolution has not only been a major contributor to global economic development, but also truly empowered people in countless ways. It’s bringing the world together with each passing day and carving the path for Pakistan to become a technological powerhouse with an abundance of employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.”
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The survey revealed that most users (94 per cent) across Asia believe that mobile connectivity significantly improved their lives, especially women. 53 per cent of the women surveyed in Pakistan believe that mobile phones have considerably improved the quality of their lives, compared to 40 per cent of men. Cumulatively, 73 per cent of Pakistani respondents believe that their quality of life has improved with greater connectivity with friends and family, and 68 per cent believe they have struck the perfect technological balance.
According to the study, the biggest perceived benefit of mobile connectivity is financial inclusion as 90 per cent of respondents in Pakistan believe mobile has increased their access to financial services.
However, a disparity between the responses of urban and rural respondents highlighted the need to widen the scale of inclusion to those outside urban areas, across Asia. Sustainable living through the use of mobile technology is also high on the agenda for 3 in 4 respondents. Almost all the respondents (93 per cent) had significant concerns about privacy and security.
Mobile device usage continues to accelerate at a rapid pace with women leading the way; 92 per cent carry their mobile with them for approximately half the day, 42 per cent carry it for 90 per cent of the day, while 23 per cent are never without. 9 out of 10 respondents believe that mobile connectivity improves financial, healthcare and education access.
The surge in digital adoption shows no signs of slowing down; 3 in 4 expect usage to increase, with Thai respondents leading this trend. As the pace of digital acceleration skyrockets, Gen Z and millennials believe that they are overusing technology and need to build adequate digital skills to keep up with the rapidly changing times.
Looking ahead, 70 per cent of Pakistan’s respondents expect to spend even greater amounts of time on their mobile phones, with 32 per cent expecting a significant increase. There was found to be a disparity of 10 per cent between urban and rural respondents (35 per cent urban, 25 per cent rural). The areas of mobile use expected to increase the most in Pakistan are work (86 per cent), online services (75 per cent), and social interaction (74 per cent). 97 per cent of Pakistanis are confident in their digital skills, while 96 per cent are concerned about keeping pace with future advancements in technology.
Telenor Asia’s “Digital Lives Decoded” study is a three-part series looking at the role of mobile device in how we live, work, and play. The first report examines the role and impact mobile phones are having on the way people live, with a focus on quality of life, relationships, access and inclusion, and outlook for the future.