2013-02-26 12:33:30 -
Barcelona - Mobile World Congress - 26 February 2013: Telenor Group today
unveils the results of its Boston Consulting Group (BCG)-commissioned study on
reducing the harmful effects of online and mobile services for youth. The study
looks at the rapid spread of Internet - expected to reach 176 million children
in Telenor markets by 2017. Rapidly increasing access means a greater need for
cross-industry collaboration to reduce risk and build resilience among youth.
176 million children online in 2017
BCG calculates that a total of 176 million children will be online by 2017 in
Telenor's 11 markets plus Russia, and the majority of these children will be
using a mobile device as their first point of access. Children today are
"digital natives", as they take for granted the presence
of technology in their
lives. They increasingly use the Internet as a tool for communication,
education, entertainment and self-expression, new opportunity and skills in
their daily lives. Along with the benefits, the Internet may also expose
children to harmful content, harassment or other situations in which they become
"We see that the benefits of the Internet far outweigh the harm that can result,
but we cannot afford to be complacent. We commissioned this study in an effort
to increase transparency about risks to youth that result from increased access,
while simultaneously analyzing the best ways to deal with this from a telecom
perspective. Our conclusion is that resilience building is the most effective
means to prepare youth to face the online world," said Jon Fredrik Baksaas,
President and CEO, Telenor Group.
Key findings from study
· Increase of 100 million online children by 2017 (in Telenor's 11 markets plus
Russia); 85 million of these will use a mobile device as their first access
· More than 14 million children (in 12 markets) may potentially be exposed to
harmful online content and as many as 35 million (in 12 markets) children may
have experienced some form of cyber bullying.
· Telenor markets exposed to greatest online risks also have greatest
resilience: Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
· Telenor markets least exposed to online risks also have least resilience:
Bangladesh and Pakistan.
"In this study, we have defined resilience as a child's ability to be exposed to
risk without harm, and to cope and recover faster if harm occurs. Factors such
as education levels, online experience over time and a country's institutional
strength in protecting its citizens all contribute to the resilience of an
individual. While the legal framework in the country is an important starting
point, the study concludes that more is required in order to reduce risk, and,
in particular, increase resilience among youth," said Knut Haanæs, the Global
Leader of BCG's Strategy Practice.
Multi-stakeholder action required
The study concludes that addressing issues such as cyber bullying and exposure
to harmful content on the web requires multi-stakeholder action.
"We need the parents, the educators, the civil servants, as well as the service
providers to work together to help reduce risks and build resilience in our
youth," said Baksaas. "We see the telco as a significant contributor to reducing
harm, and Telenor intends to take a strong position, invite broad cooperation
and contribute to the development of mitigating actions to reduce online risks
for youth in all our markets."
Meera Bhatia, Communications Manager, Telenor Group: +47 46844959, email
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Source: Telenor via Thomson Reuters ONE