Global study confirms that Singaporeans are the most emotionally connected to the Internet

Singapore – September 30, 2014


Research from Tata Communications confirms 78% of Singaporeans feel left out without internet access


Tata Communications, a leading provider of A New World of Communications™, today announces the results of its global report, entitled ‘Connected World II,’ which reveals that as many as 78% of Singaporeans feel a negative emotion when they are without internet access. According to the report, 43% of Singaporeans actively use the Internet for over six hours every day – the second highest percentage worldwide after India. However, despite the nation’s dependence on all things digital, nearly one quarter of those surveyed do not understand where the Internet resides. The report captures responses from 9,417 Internet users across six emerging and developed countries – France, Germany, India, Singapore, the US, and the UK – to better understand how we use, engage and connect with the Internet today. Nearly 1,000 respondents from Singapore participated in the study.

The impact of the Internet on global economies has been phenomenal. A third of the world’s population is now connected to the Internet[1] and by 2020, the number of connected devices is expected to rise to 26 billion[2]. With so many of us checking in online each day, it may come as a surprise to learn that the public still does not really understand just how the Internet works. Only half of all global respondents accurately identified where the Internet resides ( network connected data centers), while 82% do not know that the fastest mode of internet delivery to their device is through subsea cables. In fact, 74% of surveyed Singapore citizens do not know the fastest mode of internet delivery.

“The survey results also found that 77% of global respondents believe the most beneficial impact of the Internet is its ability to connect people globally with incredible speed,” says Julie Woods-Moss, Chief Marketing Officer and CEO of Tata Communications’ Nextgen Business. “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. Over 24% of the world’s internet routes use our network, and this affords us a rare advantage and a perspective that helps connect with our customers globally across emerging markets and developed economies.”

While nearly a third of the world’s internet users are spending six hours or more per day actively using the Internet, Singapore’s reliance is much greater. At 52%, Singaporeans rank high on FOMO (fear of missing out) when they are without an internet connection. Overall, 78% percent of Singapore respondents state that not having internet access sparks negative emotions vs. 64% of global respondents. In addition, Asian respondents appear to be the most ‘internet dependent’; with less than half of Singaporeans and Indians capable of lasting up to 12 hours without internet access compared to 86% of German, 77% of French, 75% of US and 70% 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% of surveyed Singaporeans and 27% of surveyed Indians identified ‘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, picked ‘light speed connectivity’ as their preferred choice for the most inspirational opportunity for change in the next 3-5 years that the Internet will facilitate.

Other highlights from Singapore include:

  • The average surveyed Singaporean believes s/he can only survive 7.3 hours without internet access
  • 38% of surveyed Singaporeans would forgo alcohol in favour of internet access, with 27% choosing the online world over television and 20% willing to sacrifice chocolate for their digital connections
  • When asked whether the Internet and the World Wide Web are the same, 69% of surveyed Singaporeans incorrectly said yes, while 31% stated that they can’t name the fastest mode of internet delivery
  • 62% of respondents mistakenly believe that the Internet has unlimited capacity and that the Internet is owned by everyone (64%). However, Singaporean and Indian respondents were perhaps the savviest about the national state role in the Internet with 21% correctly stating that individual countries own the Internet compared to a global average of 16%
  • When asked how the Internet has benefitted society as a whole, 82% of Singapore respondents hailed connecting people globally as the most important result and only 5% of surveyed Singaporeans feel that the Internet has given people a democratic channel for expression

When it comes to knowing how the Internet actually works, half of the Singapore respondents could accurately identify network connected data centers as the place where the Internet resides and 74% did not know that the fastest mode of internet delivery to their devices are subsea cables.

As more and more global consumers demand greater flexibility with regard 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% of the world’s internet routes use Tata Communications’ network.

For those interested in how the Internet actually works, a video can be found [here]. The complete global report can be found [here].

About the survey

Tata Communications conducted an online survey that comprised of 14 closed questions, aimed at capturing behavioral, technical and philosophical responses in relation to people’s associations, understanding and emotional connections to the Internet. A total of 9,417 respondents across six countries: India, Singapore, UK, USA, Germany and France participated in the survey. Out of the total number of respondents surveyed, 50% of them are women and 50% men. 33% of the respondents are from Asia (India and Singapore), 52% from Europe (UK, France and Germany) and 15% from North America with age ranges: 15-25=11%, 25-35=23%, 35-45=22%, 45-55=22%, 55-65=21%. The findings of this survey were then analysed as an aggregate of the responses and further based on age, gender and location to arrive at the insights.



Natalie Chak
Tata Communications
+44 (0)7833 043 779


Sharmini Fonseka
Hill & Knowlton Strategies
+65 6390 3347

About Tata Communications

Tata Communications Limited (CIN no: L64200MH1986PLC039266) along with its subsidiaries (Tata Communications) is a leading global provider of A New World of CommunicationsTM. With a leadership position in emerging markets, Tata Communications leverages its advanced solutions capabilities and domain expertise across its global and pan-India network to deliver managed solutions to multi-national enterprises, service providers and Indian consumers.

The Tata Communications global network includes one of the most advanced and largest submarine cable networks and a Tier-1 IP network with connectivity to over 240 countries and territories across 400 PoPs, as well as nearly 1 million square feet of data centre and collocation space worldwide.

Tata Communications’ depth and breadth of reach in emerging markets includes leadership in Indian enterprise data services and leadership in global international voice. Tata Communications Limited is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India.

Forward-looking and cautionary statements

Certain words and statements in this release concerning Tata Communications and its prospects, and other statements, including those relating to Tata Communications’ expected financial position, business strategy, the future development of Tata Communications’ operations, and the general economy in India, are forward-looking statements. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including financial, regulatory and environmental, as well as those relating to industry growth and trend projections, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of Tata Communications, or industry results, to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from such forward-looking statements include, among others, failure to increase the volume of traffic on Tata Communications’ network; failure to develop new products and services that meet customer demands and generate acceptable margins; failure to successfully complete commercial testing of new technology and information systems to support new products and services, including voice transmission services; failure to stabilize or reduce the rate of price compression on certain of the company’s communications services; failure to integrate strategic acquisitions and changes in government policies or regulations of India and, in particular, changes relating to the administration of Tata Communications’ industry; and, in general, the economic, business and credit conditions in India. Additional factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from such forward-looking statements, many of which are not in Tata Communications’ control, include, but are not limited to, those risk factors discussed in Tata Communications Limited’s Annual Reports. The Annual Reports of Tata Communications Limited are available at Tata Communications is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements.