Karachi,: Nearly 73% 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 Jørgen 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.”
Quality of life
The survey revealed that most users (94%) across Asia believe that mobile connectivity significantly improved their lives, especially women. 53% of the women surveyed in Pakistan believe that mobile phones have considerably improved the quality of their lives, compared to 40% of men. 73% of Pakistani respondents believe that their quality of life has improved with greater connectivity with friends and family, and 68% believe they have struck the perfect technological balance.
Financial inclusion and sustainability
According to the study, the biggest perceived benefit of mobile connectivity is financial inclusion; 90% 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%) had significant concerns about privacy and security.
Access through communication
The greatest impact of mobile technology on improving quality of life has been through communication via calls or emails (82%), use for search engines (80%), for work (84%), and for e-learning (86%). Mobile device usage continues to accelerate at a rapid pace with women leading the way; 92% carry their mobile with them for approximately half the day, 42% carry it for 90% of the day, while 23% are never without. 9 out of 10 respondents believe that mobile connectivity improves financial, healthcare and education access.
Rapid digital adoption
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% of Pakistan’s respondents expect to spend even greater amounts of time on their mobile phones, with 32% expecting a significant increase. There was found to be a disparity of 10% between urban and rural respondents (35% urban, 25% rural). The areas of mobile use expected to increase the most in Pakistan are work (86%), online services (75%), and social interaction (74%). 97% of Pakistanis are confident in their digital skills, while 96% 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.