Nearly half of the world’s mobile phone users still only use their devices to make voice calls and send SMS, according to a report from GSMA Intelligence. The Global Mobile Engagement Index (GMEI) classified users as ‘Aficionados’ (the most engaged), ‘Pragmatists’, ‘Networkers’ and ‘Talkers’ (the least engaged). The latter group, made up of those who only use their mobile phones to make voice calls and send SMS, accounted for 47 percent of adult mobile phone owners in 2016. However, the GSMA predicts that this segment will shrink to 29 percent of the total by 2030 as users across the developing world become more engaged due to advances in mobile innovation, affordability and availability.
The survey of mobile users across 56 global markets representing 80 percent of the world’s population revealed that South Korea, Qatar and the US were the three highest-scoring countries in terms of mobile engagement. Other findings include the surprising fact that traditional SMS is still used more frequently than IP messaging in several mature markets, including France and the US, while around four in every five adult mobile phone owners use their phones for mobile money services in African countries such as Kenya and Tanzania.