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Mobile internet use: mapping the age gap



With mobile adoption exceeding 5 billion users across the world and consumer behaviour continually evolving as devices get smarter, services grow richer and societies become more connected, it is increasingly important to measure and understand how consumers are interacting with their devices.

This report highlights how behaviour of smartphone users varies by age groups in a subset of key developed markets in use cases across the following four categories: communications, entertainment, payments and lifestyle. It focuses on the digital divide between those aged 18-34 and those aged 35+ and the challenges and opportunities this poses for driving future engagement.

Younger age groups have always demonstrated higher uptake of digital services relative to their older peers. The gap is particularly wide for use cases linked to entertainment, but also for more fundamental day-to-day use cases such as contactless payments and e-commerce. This causes a digital divide, and negatively affects the economic potential of such services. As we move into the 5G era, which will deliver new services and devices, the risk is that instead of the usage gap closing, it begins to widen.

The GSMA Intelligence Consumer Insights series takes results from our global Consumer Survey, providing insight into how people around the world engage with their mobile devices, from traditional communications to social, entertainment and financial services.


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