From its 100th rank last year, the Philippines went down by a step to 101st in this year?s ?Measuring the Information Society Report? which was released on Wednesday, Nov. 15, by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the specialized agency for information and communication technology (ICT) of the United Nations.
The report noted that despite having a largely duopoly market, the Philippines has achieved a high level of basic mobile access and has deployed the latest wireless and fixed technologies with high download speeds — at least in urban areas.
?It is also well-endowed with international Internet bandwidth driven by its large overseas population and burgeoning business process outsourcing industry,? the report said in its assessment of the Philippine ICT market.
This year’s report found that concurrent advances in the Internet of Things, big data analytics, cloud computing and artificial intelligence will enable tremendous innovations and fundamentally transform business, government and society ? ultimately serving to improve livelihoods around the globe.
“This revolution will unfold,” the report stated, “over the coming decades with opportunities, challenges, and implications that are not yet fully known. To harness these benefits, countries will need to create conditions supportive to the deployment of next-generation network and service infrastructures..”
The ITU ICT Development Index 2017 (IDI 2017) featured in the MIS report is a benchmark of the level of ICT development in countries across the world.
Iceland tops the IDI 2017 rankings. It is followed by two countries and one economy in the Asia and the Pacific region, and six other countries in Europe, which have competitive ICT markets that have experienced high levels of ICT investment and innovation over many years.
The IDI has up to now been based on 11 indicators. However, recent developments in ICT markets have led to the review of those indicators.
As a result of that review, in 2018 the index will be defined by 14 indicators that should add further insights into the performance of individual countries and the relative performance of countries at different development levels.
The latest data on ICT development show continued progress in connectivity and use of ICTs. There has been sustained growth in the availability of communications in the past decade, led by growth in mobile cellular telephony and, more recently, in mobile-broadband.
Growth in fixed and mobile-broadband infrastructure has stimulated Internet access and use. The number of mobile-broadband subscriptions worldwide now exceeds 50 per 100 population, enabling improved access to the Internet and online services.
In spite of the rapid expansion of ICTs, there are substantial digital divides between countries and regions. However, there has been registered progress in ICT growth by least developed countries, in terms of connectivity as well as the use of the Internet.
Globally, more than half of households worldwide now have access to the Internet, though the rate of growth appears to have fallen below 5 percent a year. There has also been significant progress in terms of bridging the gender digital divide across the regions.
Seven economies in the Asia and the Pacific region have IDI 2017 values above 7.50 points and rank within the highest quartile, including the South Korea which is ranked second overall.