Over 75s keen to learn new tech tricks to stay connected

Three UK launches free digital training across all stores

  • With King Charles embracing his new role at the age of 75, new research shows that contrary to stereotypes, over 75s want to stay current and learn about technology
  • New survey shows that nearly half (48%) of over 75s own a smartphone and more than a third (36%) want to learn more about using modern technologies, but only 15% have received training
  • Three UK launches free “Still got I.T” sessions for over-75s across its 297 stores nationwide to help with digital skills

25 April 2023 – As the Coronation approaches, research from Three UK shows King Charles’ generation want to use technology to stay connected with friends and family and up-to-date on culture.

The survey of 2,000 adults who have a relative who is 75 or older found over a third (38%) say their relations defy the stereotype that older people cannot use technology.

In fact, older people have embraced technological advances, with three in ten (30%) living in a home brimming with the latest gadgets and nearly half (48%) using a smartphone regularly.

Half of respondents (51%) say that their older relative is capable of using the latest devices, as over a third have sent family members videos (38%) and watched videos on YouTube (37%), over a quarter (27%) have played online games and done their grocery shopping online (23%).

Older people rely on technology to stay connected too as:

  • 55% use devices to keep in touch with their family
  • 48% thought technology helped them to keep their brain ticking
  • 47% use it to keep up with an ever-changing world

Still, there is lots of appetite among this generation to gain more skills, with more than a third (36%) wanting to learn more about using modern technologies. Despite this, only 15% of over 75s have received training and one in five respondents (20%) don’t believe there are enough opportunities for older generations to learn how to use new tech.

Instead, family members are depended upon by nearly three in five (57%) of the older generation to teach them to use devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops.

To help to feed this appetite for learning, Three UK is launching free “Still got I.T” sessions for senior citizens in its 297 stores across the nation. The free training taking place on 14th May will be provided by Three’s Discovery team and in-store staff and help older people make the most of their smartphones.  To sign up, simply visit one of our stores.

Craig Miller, Head of Retail at Three UK, said: “As King Charles takes on a new role, he proves that age is no barrier to learning new skills. The older generation’s interest in technology is often overlooked as the digital world is painted as one dominated by the young. This research shows a desire among over 75s to keep up to date with technological advances and know how to use the latest gadgets. We are determined to help over 75s make the most of their devices, ensuring that they stay connected with family and the wider world.”

The training will also help older people to interact with younger family members as Gen Z turn their back on traditional phone calls and adopt new forms of communicating:

  • Video calls, three in five 16-24-year-olds (60%) say they use video calls to connect with friends and family at least once a week, twice as many as those aged 55+ (29%)
  • Voice notes have become popular with nearly two-thirds (58%) of 16-24-year-olds using them at least once a week, compared with only one in ten (12%) of those aged 55+
  • Group chats, with seven in 10 (73%) of Gen Z saying they are in one or more that’s active every single day, compared with two in five (41%) among the 55+ group


Notes to Editors

About the research

OnePoll surveyed 2000 under 75s about an over 75 year old relative’s tech capabilities and usage and their own. The research was commissioned by Three UK.

A survey was conducted by Censuswide, among a sample of 2,010 UK adults aged 16+, nationally representative on age, gender and region. The data was collected between 13/02/2023 – 15/02/2023. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct which is based on the ESOMAR principles.


About Three 

Three launched in 2003 as the UK’s first 3G only network, laying its foundations as the network that was born to be different. Today Three is a connectivity company that connects people to people, people to things and things to things and has 9.96 million customers.

Our network today covers 99% of the UK population and we carry 28% of the UK’s mobile data traffic.

Three launched 5G in August 2019, is the largest holder of spectrum in the UK and has been recognised by Ookla as having the UK’s fastest 5G network. It is the only operator able to meet the International Telecoms Union (ITU) 2020 standard of 100MHz of contiguous spectrum for full 5G services.

Three is the official partner and shirt sponsor of Chelsea FC men’s and women’s teams.

Three UK is a proud partner of Samaritans, where it will use the strength of its network and technology to connect 1 million people to emotional support.

Three was voted the Best Network for Data by uSwitch, and the Best Wholesale Partner at the Mobile Industry Awards.

Three UK is part of the CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd group of companies which has mobile operations in 11 countries. We employ more than 4,800 people across our offices in Reading and Glasgow and our 297 retail stores.


Headland Consultancy – three@headlandconsultancy.com

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