UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) released the 2016 edition of the Measuring the Information Society Report. The report was launched on 22 November 2016 during the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium (WTIS).
WTIS was held in Botswana, South Africa from 21 November to 23 November 2016.
The ITU index prepared after surveying 175 economies of the world was topped by the Republic of Korea with IDI of 8.84. The Sub-Saharan Africa’s Niger with an IDI of 1.07 ranked lowest.
India was placed at 138th rank with IDI score of 2.69. In 2015, it stood at 135th position with IDI score of 2.50.
The Republic of Korea led the IDI for the second year. Asian economies that featured in the top 10 in the list were Hong Kong, China (6) and Japan (10). The other seven others were in Europe.
|Top Six Countries||Lowest ranked Countries|
|Republic of Korea (1)||Niger (175)|
|Iceland (2)||Chad (174)|
|Denmark (3)||Guinea-Bissau (173)|
|Switzerland (4)||South Sudan (172)|
|United Kingdom (5)||Burundi (171)|
Region wise finding
- Europe and countries in the Americas: ICT development in the region made significant progress.
- Asian and Pacific countries: Nine out of the 34 countries in the Asian and Pacific countries remained least concerned. These countries include several with large populations. Same diversity was seen in the Arab region.
- Worst Performing region: with an average ISI score of 2.48 points for 2016, Africa was named as the worst performing region. Its IDI score, which was just over half the global average (4.94), reflects the lower level of economic development that inhibits ICT development.
- Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region: ICT development in the region made significant progress.
- The report highlights that the average global ICT Development Index (IDI) saw an improvement from 4.74 in 2015 to 4.94 in 2016.
- The data says that the world is more connected than ever, but it also highlights that many in the world are still without the internet.
- It suggests that reduction in socio-economic inequalities, mainly in education and income levels, will help in bringing more people online.
- It reveals that cost of the mobile-phone handset is one of the main barriers in owning a mobile phone.
- It says that stronger improvements in ICT (information and communication technologies) use during 2015-16 periods have helped in growing the mobile-broadband uptake globally. This led to increasing in a number of people, in particular from the developing world.
- The ITU index also says that by the end of 2016, about 95percent of the global population will be living in an area that is covered by a mobile-cellular signal. It also says that mobile-cellular subscriptions will equal the number of living people.
- ITU, however, cautioned that since many people have multiple subscriptions or devices, other metrics need to be produced to accurately assess mobile uptakes, such as the number of mobile phone users or mobile phone owners.
What helped in increasing connectivity?
Decline in prices of mobile phones in the least developed countries (LDC) has played a positive role in expanding connectivity. LDCs saw a 20 percent decrease in cellular prices, which is the strongest decline in past five years.