Tuesday, March 17, 2009
A Changing Digital Landscape - Yes and No
The International Telecommunications Union (an agency of the UN) recently published its new ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) Development Index (IDI). It looks at developments in ICTs across 154 countries between 2002-2007. End-2008 figures for key ICT indicators are also included in the report.
What does the Index tell us?
There has been a clear shift to mobile cellular technology. Last year there were an estimated 4.1 bn mobile subscriptions (6-in-10 of the world's population), up from 1 bn in 2002. About two-thirds of the mobile phones in use were in developing countries, up from less than half in 2002
Internet use has more than doubled - 23 percent of people used the Internet last year, up from 11 percent in 2002. Only 1-in-20 Africans went online in 2007.
Five percent of people worldwide have broadband Internet at home, compared with 20 percent in developed countries
The most advanced countries in ICT are from Northern Europe with the exception of the Republic of Korea. The top ten countries are:
Eastern Europe is the most dynamic region on ICT developments
China ranked 73 in 2007 up from 90 in 2002
Countries with high income levels pay relatively little for ICT services, while those with low income levels pay relatively more - often due to high tariffs for fixed Internet broadband in some developing countries. Countries with the lowest ICT prices are:
Hong Kong (China)
United Arab Emirates
Overall, the magnitude of the global digital divide remains unchanged between 2002 and 2007
Find the press release here