"The flexibility that Malaysians and Thais show in leveraging and using mobile Internet is very impressive and surpasses even Scandinavia. It signifies the importance mobile Internet plays in their daily lives," said Brekke.
"While we continue to work to provide millions of low-income people in rural areas of South Asia and Southeast Asia with affordable Internet for All services, we are also keeping our fingers on the pulse of the technologically savvy youth in our Asia markets because they show us what products and services will be widely desired in the short- and mid-term. Understanding their habits also helps us to identify where new technology ecosystems may emerge in their markets," he said.
In respect of social media, Thailand was the most active with 72 percent of those studied posting on social media through their devices daily, followed by 58 percent in Malaysia, 30 percent in Sweden and only 11 percent in Norway, said Brekke.
Meanwhile voice calls remained active with 84 percent of Thais, 73 percent of Malaysians, 63 percent of Swedes and 67 percent of Norwegians making at least one phone call during the day, he said.
"Fifty percent of Thais and Malaysians exchange emails via mobile data compared to 31 percent of Swedes and 21 percent of Norwegians," said Brekke. "As for video calls, more than 30 percent of Malaysians and Thais use the service, while only 14 percent of Swedes and four percent of Norwegians do the same."
He said the study also showed that Malaysian and Thai digital forerunners "out-use their Scandinavian counterparts in every category because they choose to communicate across a range of various platforms - apps, social media, and voice. While those surveyed in Malaysia and Thailand use a wider range of services and applications than their Scandinavian peers, those surveyed in Sweden and Norway download and use significantly more data."
"What unites the four markets is that their digital frontrunners increasingly demand video and data-rich media," said Ole Christian Wasenden, head researcher in Telenor Group's competition division. "Personal attitudes towards socialising and having fun online are the main common drivers of mobile internet network use, known in the industry as 'mobile Voice-over-IP' (mVoIP). For messaging apps, group communication and efficiency are additional key features driving popularity."
The Telenor Group-TNS study's received feedback from more than 2,600 people in Malaysia, Thailand, Sweden and Norway aged 16-35 years old who use Internet on their phones - a demographic Telenor identifies as 'digital frontrunners.'
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