Potentials of internet usage through mobile phone is widespread in coming day across the Asia including Bangladesh, as the alternatives to using mobile data are not widely available, according to a study.
The study report found affordability of smart devices is the key to spreading the smart technology, especially mobile broadband connectivity in the region.
However, the report highlighted few strong challenges for mobile data in developing markets in Asia as in much of emerging Asia nearly 60-80 percent mobile phone users do not use mobile data at all still now.
In Bangladeshi market, the study observed its increasing smartphone penetration, keeping devices and services affordable, and the high potential of mobile finance.
In Malaysia, an Ericsson Consumer Lab study published in September cites smartphone penetration increased from 47 percent in 2012 to 63 percent this year as mobile data demand skyrockets in the country. The need to connect to the Internet is one of the key drivers for buying a smartphone.
In Thailand, in the third quarter of 2013, smartphone purchases increased at a record 29.1 percent- from 7.1 million to 8 million smartphones now in circulation in the country.
However, the TNS global study highlights strong challenges of mobile data in developing markets. The tangible benefits of mobile data – applications, mobile Internet – are available primarily on smartphone platforms, and their high cost has been the main obstacle to widespread ownership in recent years in Telenor Asia’s markets – Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, and soon to be Myanmar.
Alternatives to using mobile data, such as WiFi, are not widely available (up to 5 per cent of data traffic is through WiFi in most developing markets, cites TNS).
“This is why we want to be increasingly able to offer smartphones and the mobile data connectivity at price points accessible to the average consumer in our Asian markets,” Sigve Brekke, Executive Vice President and Head of Asia Operations, Telenor Group.
Brekke, also the chairman of leading Bangladeshi cellular phone operator Grameenphone said: “After years of work, we have made great progress in helping bring these prices down..Telenor is committed to bringing the power and opportunities of the Internet to all in Asia,” he added.
Drawing on 38,000 people from 43 countries, the TNS global Mobile Life study uncovered major mobile connectivity differences in countries across emerging Asia. Those studied included representative ratios of the population from 16-60 years of age, both mobile phone owners and non-owners.
“For global mobile providers like Telenor, it’s going to be increasingly important to stay informed of consumers’ behaviour
on mobile, how mobile finance will shape the industry and the opportunities these changes and trends present,” said TNS’s Joe Webb, Head of Digital, Greater China.