This month, the International Telecommunications Union released the “World in 2009, ICT Facts and Figures” report available in pdf here. Below is a summary some of the most interesting facts:
- As the graph above shows, the relative price for ICT services is highest in Africa, the region with the lowest income levels. The price for fixed broadband access remains prohibitively high in most developing countries, effectively limiting access to the Information Society.
- It’s mostly European countries at the top of the ICT Development Index (IDI), with Sweden at number 1, Denmark at 3, Netherlands 4, Iceland 5 and Norway at 6. Korea in Asia is ranked number 2. The USA is at number 17.
- In Africa Seychelles is at the top with a global IDI ranking of 57, then Mauritius at 62, Mzansi at 87, Cape Verde at 105 and Gabon at 107. The index captured the level of advancement of ICTs in 154 countries worldwide and compares progress made between 2002 and 2007. It’s available here. Zimbabwe has a global IDI ranking of 126.
- Mobile cellular has been the most rapidly adopted technology in history. Today it is the most popular and widespread personal technology on the planet, with an estimated 4.6 billion subscriptions globally by the end of 2009.
- There is a dramatic broadband divide, with very few fixed broadband subscribers or mobile broadband subscriptions in Africa
- In 2008, mobile phone penetration in developing countries had reached that of Sweden under ten years earlier; for infant mortality, the rate in developing countries in 2007 was at the level where Sweden was 72 years earlier. Sweden was used here as a benchmark as it ranked first in ITU’s ICT Development Index.
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