Emerging markets report fundamental life changes from connectivity

  • Differences in consumer mobile internet usage patterns and behaviour
  • In emerging markets, focus on personal advancement, self-improvement
Emerging markets report fundamental life changes from connectivity

CONNECTIVITY has had a transformative impact, with nearly all consumers surveyed in emerging markets (97%) reporting fundamental life changes in key areas of their lives, according to Juniper Networks.
The company has released its first-ever Global Bandwidth Index Report, which explores differences between how people use mobile Internet connectivity in their day-to-day lives at work and at home, and what they hope to achieve using their connected devices in the future.
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The Juniper Networks Global Bandwidth Index found that people in developing countries often use connected devices as a tool for personal advancement and self-improvement, while in the developed world, the focus is much more on convenience and efficiency.
According to the study, nearly twice as many people in developing countries regularly use connected devices for educational purposes as those in developed markets, Juniper Networks said in a statement.
Furthermore, 46% of respondents in developing countries use connected devices for professional development versus 27% in developed markets.
In developed nations, on the other hand, people are more likely to use connected devices for practical day-to-day activities like banking (51%), shopping (41%) and searching for local information (42%).
“The Juniper Networks Global Bandwidth Index found that mobile connectivity has had a profound impact on how people communicate, work, learn and play around the world,” said Mike Marcellin, senior vice president of strategy and marketing at Juniper Networks.
“It also suggests that this transformation will continue as new technologies emerge, network speeds increase and hundreds of millions of people who aren’t yet connected to the Internet gain access.
“The report reveals an opportunity for service providers to continue to deliver new, life-changing services in areas like education, particularly in emerging markets where there is a great demand,” he added.
Juniper Networks commissioned the independent firm Wakefield Research to survey 5,500 adults in developed markets, comprising Australia, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, which are typically moving quickly to implement high-bandwidth Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks capable of delivering mobile services up to 100 times faster than older networks.
Wakefield also sampled consumers in emerging markets, comprising Brazil, China, India and South Africa, where networks tend to be slower and less reliable.
Key finding from the Global Bandwidth Index Report:
Transformative connections

  • 97% of people in emerging markets reported fundamental life changes due to connectivity, including a transformation in the way they complete a wide range of essential and everyday tasks, from banking to accessing local information, enjoying entertainment, receiving health care and engaging in civic life.
  • Compare that to 22% of consumers in developed markets who report that connectivity has not had a significant effect on their lives.

The Global Bandwidth Index also uncovers a corresponding impact on people’s perception of economic opportunity.

  • 40% of respondents in emerging markets report that connectivity has improved their earning power, compared with just 17% in developed markets.
  • 60% of consumers in emerging markets believe that connectivity has transformed their social lives, compared with 38% in the developed countries.

The education opportunity

Emerging markets report fundamental life changes from connectivity

Education is a prime area in which people in developing countries are more likely to utilise the power of connectivity to help them get ahead.

  • 39% of people in developing nations surveyed have experienced a significant transformation in their access to education thanks to connectivity. In developed countries, that numbers is less than half.
  • In India, for example, 45% of respondents say that connectivity has fundamentally changed how they access textbooks, complete coursework or use teaching tools, compared with just 7% in Japan.
  • Looking to the future, more than half of consumers surveyed in emerging countries would like to have more access to educational resources compared to less than one-quarter in developed countries. 

Not all bandwidth created equal
Despite positive life changes, the majority of individuals in emerging markets report they have missed personal and professional opportunities as a result of connectivity challenges.

  • Overall, 60% of consumers in emerging markets cited connection speed as the most common problem (compared with 27% in developed countries).
  • Further, 30% of people in emerging markets stated that simply finding a connection remains an issue (compared to just 13% in developed nations).

“Despite these connectivity challenges, the Global Bandwidth Index data shows that consumers in emerging markets are still significantly more satisfied with their networks than their counterparts in developed countries,” said Marcellin.
“The transformative impact of connectivity on peoples’ lives in the developing world is much stronger than the feeling that networks should be faster and more reliable. Meanwhile, in developed countries, high bandwidth connectivity is so commonplace that people are much more sensitive to interruptions in service,” he added.
The Juniper Networks Global Bandwidth Index report is available here.
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