More reports on: Tata Consultancy Services

Eight out of 10 Indian net users 'fear missing out' when not connected

30 September 2014

Tata Communications today announced the results of its global report, Connected World II, which reveals that 82 per cent of surveyed Indians admit to a "fear of missing out" (FOMO) when not connected to the internet, the highest percentage globally.

Despite the nation's dependence on all things digital, 60 per cent of Indians surveyed equate the Internet with the 'world wide web'; showcasing a gap in the actual understanding of the internet.

The report present responses from 9,417 internet users across six emerging and developed countries France, Germany, India (2,117), Singapore, the US, and the UK  to better understand how users engage and connect with the internet today.

The impact of the internet on global economies is phenomenal. About 2.5 billion people are connected to the internet today, that's a third of the world's population. By 2020, the number of connected devices is expected to rise to 26 billion.

With so many users checking in online each day, it may come as a surprise that there is still a huge gap in the public's knowledge and understanding of the Iinternet. Only half of all global respondents accurately identify where the Internet resides (in network connected data centers), while 82 per cent do not know that the fastest mode of internet delivery to their devices is through sub-sea cables.

The good news is that surveyed Indians have an edge over their global counterparts when it comes to their understanding of the internet with around 30 per cent stating that sub-sea cables are the fastest way to deliver the internet, compared to 18 per cent globally.

Moreover, 60 per cent of surveyed Indians identify network connected data centers as the correct source of the internet, compared to 51 per cent globally.

''The internet has truly changed the way we function. As technologies evolve and adapt, there is a huge potential for the Internet to affect different aspects of life, economy and society. The use of these technologies will continue to expand in unexpected ways, and organisations will need to continuously explore, adapt and embrace new digital realities to thrive in,'' says Julie Woods-Moss, chief marketing officer and CEO of Tata Communications' Nextgen Business.

''A better understanding of the internet is likely to improve the appreciation of the Internet and its capabilities leading to new and innovative ways to incorporate digital resources into daily activities,'' adds Woods-Moss.

The study also reveals that Asian respondents appear to be the most 'internet dependent' with less than half of surveyed Singaporeans and Indians capable of lasting up to 12 hours without internet access compared to 86 per cent of German, 77 per cent of French, 75 per cent of US and 70 per cent of UK respondents.

Respondents from Asia and those from the USA and Europe are distinctly different in their vision of the most inspirational opportunity that the Internet will deliver in the future: 32 per cent of surveyed Singaporeans and 27 per cent of surveyed Indians pick smart cities as their preferred choice for what the internet will enable in the future. Respondents from the UK, France, Germany and the USA, meanwhile, feel that light speed connectivity will be more important.

Highlights of Indian users internet habits:

  • The study reveals that in India, not only did 46% of respondents spend 6 hours or more a day actively using the Internet (in comparison to 2 9per cent globally), but an alarming 82 per cent of respondents admit to the 'fear of missing out' (FOMO) when not connected (the highest globally)
  • Although surveyed Indian men spend more time on the internet than surveyed Indian women, it is Indian women (21 per cent) who outdo men (16 per cent) in feeling anxious or lost when not connected to the Internet
  • More than half of surveyed Indian internet users (56 per cent) admit they can't survive more than five hours without internet connectivity
  • Focusing on the technical understanding of the Internet, the study reveals that 48 per cent of surveyed Indians have a realistic view of the Internet reaching its full capacity limitations, compared to Germany (26 per cent), UK (30 per cent), US (28 per cent), France (43 per cent) or Singapore (38 per cent) respondents
  • Indian respondents understand that a lot of information resides in the 'cloud' with 69 per cent aware that the 'cloud' resides in data centres
  • 61 per cent of Indian respondents believe that 'everyone owns the Internet', compared to 70 per cent globally with 21 per cent rightly pointing out that each individual country owns their internet when compared to 16 per cent globally
  • This study further discloses that tablets and smartphones are rapidly replacing television as the preferred screen as nearly twice as many surveyed Indians (43 per cent) are willing to give up television for the Internet, compared to Americans (17 per cent) and Europeans (22 per cent) respondents
  • In the report, the Internet's ability to 'connect people globally with incredible speed' is cited by more than three quarters of the Indian respondents as its principle benefit to society, as opposed to 'providing a democratic platform for expression' (10 per cent), 'enabling e-commerce' (4 per cent), 'making shopping easier (3 per cent)' or a 'social equaliser' (5 per cent)

''The survey results also found that 77 per cent of respondents believe the most beneficial impact of the Internet is its ability to connect people globally with incredible speed'' says Woods-Moss. ''This belief has been the guiding force of our business strategy in the past, and is the essence on which we have built our networks to support the present and the future. The fact that over 24 per cent of the world's internet routes use our network affords us a rare advantage and a perspective that helps connect with our customers globally across emerging markets and developed economies.''

As more and more global consumers demand greater flexibility with regards to their digital footprint (connected devices, mobility, access to higher bandwidth speed and capacity), Tata Communications recognises the critical role that the Internet plays in facilitating and controlling seamless access between the IT user and service provider (internal or external).

Private and business consumers are looking for that 'just works' internet experience that allows them to seamlessly switch their home technology to the work place and vice versa. Tata Communications is creating an open communications infrastructure ecosystem that makes the Internet Fit for Business, ensuring high quality and predictable internet that delivers a robust digital ecosystem that's equipped for the future and that can cope with customers' demands of intelligence, scalability and reliability.

Tata Communications' global connectivity services are built on the world's largest and most advanced global sub-sea cable network, which enables carriers and enterprises to connect almost anywhere in the world.

The cable network boasts significant depth in the key emerging markets including Asia, Middle East and Africa. Over 24 per centof the world's internet routes use Tata Communications' network.

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