Saturday, September 17, 2011

Korea still the world's most advanced internet and telecommunications economy

The ITU has released its annual study on Measuring the Information Society, and South Korea remains the number one country in the world, as measured by its ICT Development Index.  As shown in the accompanying excerpt from Table 2.2 of the ITU report (click on the graphic to see a larger version), Korea was followed in the 2010 rankings by four Scandinavian countries and Hong Kong.  The Director of the ITU's telecommunications development bureau, in the foreword to this new study, makes the following observation.
"The ICT for development debate is witnessing an obvious shift:  the focus is no longer on the mobile-cellular miracle, but on the need for high speed broadband Internet access.  The report shows that wireless broadband Internet access is the strongest growth sector, with prepaid mobile broadband mushrooming in many developing countries and internet users shifting from fixed to wireless connections and devices.  The emergence of new mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers, is accelerating this process, but they are still too expensive in developing countries and there is a need to develop more affordable models and products.  Furthermore, the availability of bandwidth and capacity will increasingly determine the use and beneficial impacts of ICTs."   The Director goes on to note that the policy focus is most often on enhancing ICT infrastructure and access, yet the full impact of ICT in development will only be felt once people are using technologies effectively.
The broad global trends he refers to are illustrated in the second accompanying graphic (again, click to see a full-size version).  Although the rapid adoption of mobile broadband is only an incipient trend as shown in the line graph on the left of the graphic, its growth rate, shown by the bar graph on the right supports the notion that the world is on the verge of an explosive growth in mobile broadband over the next several years, with implications for developed and developing countries alike.
There is much, much more to read in this report, for those of you who follow the topic of ICT in development.

No comments:

Post a Comment