PH stays at 94th place in global ICT rankings

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The new data, released in ITU?s flagship annual report ?Measuring the Information Society 2012?, also ranked the South Korea as the world?s most advanced ICT economy, followed by Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland. In 2010, the Philippines was ranked also at 94th place. The country, along with China, showed significant growth in terms of household Internet access, reaching 15 and 31 percent penetration, respectively, by end-2011. The Philippines, however, was ranked 17th in the Asia Pacific region, just behind Thailand (16th) but ahead of Indonesia (18th). The report showed that information and communication technology (ICT) uptake continues to grow worldwide, spurred by a steady fall in the price of telephone and broadband Internet services. Of the ten top-ranked countries, eight are from Europe. The two remaining countries both come from the Asia-Pacific region, with Korea in first place, and Japan ranked 8th. The top five countries have not changed their rank between 2010 and 2011. The only new entrant in the top ten is the UK, which moved up from 14th place last year to 9th place in 2012. ITU?s ICT Development Index (IDI) ranks 155 countries according to their level of ICT access, use and skills, and compares 2010 and 2011 scores. All countries in the IDI top 30 are high-income countries, underlining the strong link between income and ICT progress. There are large differences between developed and developing countries, with IDI values on average twice as high in the developed world compared with developing countries. The report identified the group of countries with the lowest IDI levels ? so-called ?Least Connected Countries? ? and highlighted the need for policy makers to pay keen attention to this group. ?ITU?s Measuring the Information Society report is the most comprehensive statistical and analytical report on the shape of ICT markets worldwide. Our reputation as a wholly impartial and reliable source of ICT market statistics makes this report the annual industry benchmark for technology development,? said ITU secretary-general Dr Hamadoun I. Tour?. The report also identified countries which have made the most progress when it comes to ICT development. These dynamic ICT markets are mostly located in the developing world ? evidence that many developing countries are catching up quickly in efforts to bridge the so-called ?digital divide?. Strong performers include Bahrain, Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Saudi Arabia. In the mobile sector, developing countries now account for the lion?s share of market growth. Mobile-cellular subscriptions registered continuous double-digit growth in developing country markets, for a global total of six billion mobile subscriptions by end 2011. Both China and India each account for around one billion subscriptions. Mobile broadband continues to be the ICT service displaying the sharpest growth rates. Over the past year, growth in mobile-broadband services continued at 40 percent globally and 78 percent in developing countries. There are now twice as many mobile-broadband subscriptions as fixed-broadband subscriptions worldwide. Globally, telecommunication and Internet services are becoming more affordable. According to the report?s ICT Price Basket (IPB), which spans 161 economies and combines the average cost of fixed-telephone, mobile-cellular and fixed-broadband Internet services, the price of ICT services dropped by 30 percent globally between 2008 and 2011, with the biggest decrease in fixed- broadband Internet services, where average prices have come down by 75 percent. While prices in developed economies have stabilized, those in developing countries continue to fall at double-digit rates. That said, fixed-broadband services still remain too expensive in most developing countries: by end 2011, the price of a basic, monthly fixed-broadband package represented over 40 percent of monthly gross national income (GNI) per capita. This compares to 1.7 percent in developed economies. Affordability targets set in 2011 by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, set the targeted cost of an entry-level broadband subscription at less than 5 percent of GNI. One promising development is the growth of mobile-broadband services. In developing countries, mobile-broadband services are more widely accessible and, in the case of low-volume packages, less costly than fixed-broadband Internet services. Mobile broadband is expected to boost Internet use, which stood at 32 percent globally and 24 percent in developing countries at end 2011. ?The past year has seen continued and almost universal growth in ICT uptake. The surge in numbers of mobile-broadband subscriptions in developing countries has brought the Internet to a multitude of new users. But despite the downward trend, prices remain relatively high in many low-income countries. For mobile broadband to replicate the mobile-cellular miracle and bring more people from developing countries online, 3G network coverage has to be extended and prices have to go down even further,? said Brahima Sanou, director of ITU?s Telecommunication Development Bureau, which produces the annual report. The report also shows that the ICT sector has become a major contributor to economic growth. In 2010, global exports of ICT goods accounted for 12 percent of world merchandise trade, and as much as 20 percent in developing countries. ITU data showed that global revenues from telecommunication services reached $1.5 trillion in 2010, corresponding to 2.4 percent of the world?s gross domestic product (GDP). In the same year, investment (measured by capital expenditure) in telecommunications amounted to more than $241 billion, or an estimated 2 percent of the world?s total gross fixed capital formation. The figures highlighted the important role developing countries are playing in terms of telecommunication revenues and investments, particularly during the recent economic crisis. Between 2007 and 2010, both telecom revenues and investment continued to grow by 22 percent in developing countries, whereas revenues stagnated in developed countries. Developing countries are also increasingly attractive destinations for foreign direct investment (FDI) in telecommunications. By beginning 2011, nine of the top 20 telecom markets globally in terms of revenues were developing country markets ? including Brazil, China, India and Mexico ? and developing countries accounted for 35 percent of world telecommunication revenue. At the same time, ITU research and data suggest that developing countries need a relatively higher level of investment in advanced ICT services to fuel growth, mainly because ICT infrastructure levels are still limited.]]>

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