The recently launched Digital Lives Decoded study by Telenor Asia reveals the profound impact of mobile usage on the day-to-day lives of Malaysians, with a focus on upskilling, career enhancement, and accessing new revenue streams.

The study, in its second year, surveyed over 8,000 mobile internet users across eight Asian countries, including Malaysia, to understand how mobile usage contributes to better digital lives.

Five key drivers shaping a better digital life emerged from the study, emphasizing the role of mobiles in improving relationships, advancing careers, learning new skills for additional income opportunities, and promoting sustainability.

The study also highlighted efforts to protect against online risks, emphasizing the positive sentiment towards the impact of mobile connectivity.

Key Findings:

1. Digital Safety a Top Priority:
Privacy and security are paramount for Malaysians, with 63% expressing concerns compared to 44% regionally. Data theft, identity theft, and fake news top the list of worries. Malaysians show greater concern for the online safety of vulnerable family members, with 90% expressing concerns compared to 77% regionally.

2. Mobile Connectivity’s Impact:
Malaysians are consistently positive about the impact of mobile connectivity on their lives. One in five Malaysians is never without their phone, and 70% expect social interaction to drive increased mobile usage in the future. Interestingly, TikTok emerges as a news source for just over one in eight Malaysians.

3. Upskilling for Future Opportunities:
Over half of respondents report an increase in using mobiles to learn new skills, with Malaysians expressing a keen interest in video skills (54%), photography skills (53%), and communication skills (52%). Six in ten Malaysians believe these skills will open new income streams or enable career switches.

4. Mobile Empowers Careers:
Mobile use continues to be a vital enabler for careers, with 83% stating it has made them more productive. Despite optimism, Malaysian respondents highlight missed revenue opportunities due to underdeveloped use of mobile technology in their companies (67%, compared to 54% on average).

5. Sustainability Through Mobile:
Three in four Malaysians believe mobile usage allows them to live a more sustainable life, with younger generations expressing higher concern about the environmental impact of mobile use. Climate and sustainability practices influence telco choices for 40% of respondents.

Petter-Børre Furberg, EVP and head of Telenor Asia, emphasises the need for stakeholders to promote investment in connectivity networks, encourage the adoption of new technologies, and enhance digital skills to create a safer online environment as mobile technology becomes increasingly central to Malaysians’ lives.


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