Telia Trend Report 2007: Senior citizens are hot on the heels of teenagers

The most apparent trend within IT and telecom in 2007 is that older people are clearly copying the user behaviour of younger persons. This is one of the findings of this year’s Telia Trend Report survey, which polled approximately 10,000 private and enterprise customers in Sweden.

Close to 80 percent of everyone over 60 who was polled in the survey sends digital photos or film clips to family and friends. Publishing pictures and film clips on websites, such as YouTube, is popular among both young and old people: 37 percent under the age of 26 has published photos and 21 percent between the age of 26 and 40. As many as 28 percent of the people over 60 stated that they will start to use a web camera during 2007.

Downloading music from the Web is also spreading upward among age groups – 43 percent of the Swedes in the survey plan to download music this year. This is a sharp increase, compared with 2006, when the corresponding figure was 32 percent. Young people account for the biggest increase – 72 percent in the survey said they will download music this year. In the age group 26-44, the corresponding figure is 56 percent, 39 percent among those 45-50, and 23 percent among people over 60. The same trend is evident for movie downloads.

Shopping on the Internet has also become more popular, with 63 percent responding that they will buy more on the Web during the coming year. Among the respondents over 60, 50 percent said they will shop more on the Internet. The corresponding figure for 2006 was 39 percent.

Seniors blogging in 2007

One out of four Swedes reads blogs regularly and the percentage of blog readers is just as high among young and old people: 25 percent age 26-44 and 23 percent among those over 60. However, those younger than 26 are still in the lead, with 39 percent reading blogs regularly. In 2007, 15 percent of the Swedes in the survey are planning on starting their own blog. The majority of them are younger than 60, although 10 percent of those older than 60 will start to blog, according to the findings of the Telia Trend Report.

“We’re actually a little amazed to see how fast seniors are starting to develop behaviour patterns resembling those of teenagers a few years ago,” says Erik Hallberg, head of Broadband Services for TeliaSonera in Sweden.

Households are copying companies

The border between private life and work life is becoming increasingly fuzzy. In the survey, 28 percent said that they always have their mobile phone from work turned on, even in their spare time, 45 percent have access to a portable computer in their home, and 48 percent have a wireless LAN in their home.

“Private persons have a need for mobility and to connect to the Internet at all times, which is a behaviour pattern that is starting to become similar to that of companies – to be able to communicate and access important information from any location,” says Håkan Dahlström, head of Mobility Services in Sweden for TeliaSonera.

Being connected to the Internet from any location is considered to be something natural. When asked where they wanted to have a wireless Internet connection, hotel rooms (64 percent) was the most wanted location followed by trains (60 percent) and airports (48 percent). Connections in summer houses (43 percent) and parks (28 percent) were also high on the list.

Private persons are also focusing more and more on simplifying their everyday lifestyle with modern communications. Their use of communications is becoming similar to that of companies, since they use mobile phones for making reservations and meeting reminders, sending e-mail and planning their work.

Sixty-six percent of private users were interested in making appointments or receiving information about doctor’s appointments by SMS. Forty-seven percent would like to receive reminders by SMS from their children’s school or day care centre. Almost just as many people would like to maintain contact by SMS with personnel working at the nursing home or assisted care facility where a relative lives.

From the Telia Trend Report, it is also clear how important the mobile phone and computer are to people. When asked what they do when they have forgotten their work mobile phone on their way to the office, 51 percent responded that they would return home to get it. Forty-eight percent would return home to pick up their laptop computer if they had forgotten to take it with them in the morning.

IT managers are being given greater responsibility

Eight-five percent of the companies polled in the survey plan to maintain or increase the level of their investment in information technology during 2007. One of out three companies plans to increase their investments. Today, 36 percent of them have outsourced the operation of their communications network to an external supplier. One out of two IT managers believes that this will result in their being given greater responsibility for their company’s strategy and business processes. Sixty-five percent believe that the outsourcing of these functions will secure their company’s communication needs.

According to the IT managers, they will assume a more supportive role in their company’s business processes in the future (59 percent). These IT managers also believe that the future will be characterized by a higher percent of purchased managed services (69 percent).

About the Telia Trend Report 2007

Telia has conducted two separate online surveys to poll private and enterprise customers. The survey of private persons covered 8,887 Telia customers, who responded to questions about communications in the home. All of Sweden is represented in the survey and the respondents represented all ages. The survey of companies covered 1,404 people who answered questions about communications at work. The respondents had titles such as Managing Director, CFO and IT Manager. All of Sweden was represented in the survey and the size of the responding companies varied from less than ten employees to more than 500 employees. The surveys were conducted from December 14, 2006 to January 11, 2007. The Telia Trend Report was produced in association with United Minds, a Stockholm-based consulting company specializing in trend analysis and business intelligence.