Mobile communications defining new generations within society

New research commissioned by emporia Telecom, shows how technology can reshape an ageing society when it acknowledges the unique needs of its senior members.

Today ‘middle age’ commences at 48 and ‘old age’ at 71*. These ages match a demographic split emporia has identified amongst users of mobile technology. The ‘basic’ generation (50-65 years) want communications as a back-up for their day to day lives, whilst the ‘security’ generation (aged 65+) want to have a mobile which is constantly available in case of an emergency.

One fifth of all mobile users are in the basic group aged 50-65, which is a penetration rate of 81%, compared to 56% of the security generation who possess a mobile. What unifies these two groups is a desire for mobile phones which are easy to operate without stigmatising them. Despite 81% of over 55s in the UK claiming there is no shame in growing old, 62% feel society is currently too youth obsessed*, an accusation which has been regularly directed at the mobile phone industry.

Seniors want very different things from their mobile devices, extending from daily communication to personal security. Mobile technology provides a critical medium for maintaining contact – primarily by voice calls – between partners, children and grandchildren. Within the 55+ generation half (50%) are concerned about losing touch with the outside world and being forgotten.

The single highest concerns relating to ageing is that of diminishing physical abilities (66%) and loss of independence (60%).

emporia’s research has also shown that the basic and security generation are much more interested in using the mobile phone for more personal, family and friend orientated activities, as opposed to multimedia access to a wider world of news, radio, television, music or gaming. 30% want a phone so that they can capture memories of special events and show their photographs. 25% want to access an appointment calendar or receive daily reminders. Only 10% want to use their mobile to regularly access news and 5% the arts and media.

Gary Vincent, Country Director of UK & Ireland, emporia Telecom says: “Society will see tremendous change in the coming decades as those aged 60 plus top the 2 billion mark worldwide. Technology, and in particular mobile phones, can play a dramatic role in helping to bringing generations together as opposed to sidelining an important and growing proportion of the population.”

emporia Telecom is a leading manufacturer of easy to use mobile phones. Designed to meet the unique needs of an aging population, the Austrian-based company is also developing smart services to connect generations. Its range of mobile phones are available in the UK and Ireland.

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