statistics

Broadband in Vietnam: Forging Its Own Path

Title: Broadband in Vietnam: Forging Its Own Path
Author: Tran Minh Truan
Pages: 29 pp.
Source: infoDev
Publisher: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank
Date (published): 18/11/2011
Date (accessed): 18/11/2011
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"Wired broadband in Vietnam has grown over one thousand percent since 2005. While the country has made tremendous achievements in broadband, there are challenges arising from its rapid growth. This report identifies the key factors that have defined Vietnam's broadband trajectory and the role broadband might play in the future.

Solid economic growth in Vietnam has coincided with increased broadband usage. Liberalization of the telecommunications sector has led to growing competition with 11 enterprises providing infrastructure. Service providers have developed modern IP-based networks with extensive fiber optic backbones. Incomes have risen so that more people can afford broadband. This in turn has created a virtuous circle with explosive demand creating a larger market, resulting in economies of scale and lower prices. Another factor driving fixed broadband growth is that Vietnam was a latecomer to the IMT-2000 WCMDA mobile broadband technology. Major mobile operators did not launch their networks until 2009 with around 15 percent of mobile subscribers having WCDMA capability towards the end of 2010.
Despite these successes, Vietnam faces challenges broadening broadband access, particularly in rural areas where some 70 percent of the population resides. Young people in urban areas “live” with high-speed Internet access; however, less than one percent of rural households had any type of Internet access in 2008.

The cost of fiber optic access is only economical in new urban areas and for large enterprises so DSL remains the fixed broadband choice of households. But copper lines provide less quality than fiber and it is difficult to upgrade the transmission capacity. At the same time, telecom enterprises have been lately focusing on developing mobile broadband subscribers to the detriment of the fixed network.

The large number of operators has led to overlap in investment in the access network. Interconnection is difficult because operators use a variety of technologies, impacting standardization of the national telecommunications infrastructure. Intense competition has resulted in price wars threatening long-term sustainability. Service providers are looking to reduce duplication by cooperating on shared infrastructure but so far no specific measures have been implemented."

Connected Agriculture : The role of mobile in driving efficiency and sustainability in the food and agriculture value chain

Title: Connected Agriculture : The role of mobile in driving efficiency and sustainability in the food and agriculture value chain
Pages: 42 pp.
Publisher: Vodafone
Date (published): 11/10/2011
Date (accessed): 17/11/2011
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"Mobile communications can help to meet the challenge of feeding an estimated 9.2 billion people by 2050. The 12 specific opportunities explored in this study could increase agricultural income by around US$138 billion across 26 of Vodafone’s markets in 2020.

They could also cut carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 5 mega tonnes (Mt) in these markets and reduce freshwater withdrawals for agricultural irrigation by 6%, with significant savings in water-stressed regions. These benefits assume there will be around 549 million mobile connections to relevant services in 2020.

This report aims to stimulate the necessary engagement between mobile operators, governments, NGOs and businesses to realise these opportunities and explore others.
Benefits Mobile services can enable companies to

The opportunities studied here would improve the efficiency of the agriculture and food sectors as well as helping to raise the incomes of millions of poor farmers in developing countries. Increased efficiency is also expected to lead to fewer food losses – an important aspect of meeting the world’s growing demand for adequate and affordable supplies of nutritious food.

These mobile services enable companies to access and interact directly with different participants in the value chain, helping to build visibility of issues, capacity and quality. They will support company sustainability objectives, and in particular, progress towards the UN Millennium Development Goals by helping to reduce poverty, improve health and increase funding for education.

The greatest potential benefits can be generated by enabling mobile financial payments and mobile information provision, each delivering almost 40% of the total estimated increase in agricultural income.

Opportunities
Mobile telecommunications can connect farmers to markets, finance and education, making it possible to monitor resources and track products. This unlocks productivity potential while helping to manage the impacts of increased production, such as increased water use and greenhouse gas emissions.

This study focuses on 12 opportunities that deliver broad socio-economic and environmental benefits. They are grouped in four categories that were identified through stakeholder consultations as the most important.

Conclusion
The systems required to deliver these opportunities are both complex and fragmented and, as such, need the collective support of key stakeholders across the agricultural supply chain. Mobile network operators are well-positioned to act as a catalyst for action. They have the technology, the distribution channels and the customer relationships to drive these initiatives forward. However, NGOs, private enterprises and governments must agree to contribute their knowledge and expertise in order to ensure the delivery of the benefits to their full potential.

Critical success factors include the development of local relationships and understanding, testing solutions and a sympathetic regulatory environment. Consolidating these elements will help to ensure that the content and methods of delivery are tailored to both markets and crop types, optimising the value for farmers. Governments will also benefit through improved data collection and efficient, secure methods of subsidy distribution and other transactions. Pilot projects will provide an opportunity to test the technology, explore delivery partnerships, and create new business models for the rural poor and other underserved groups, such as women farmers. A regulatory environment that supports these innovations, in terms of both the technology and the required business models, will be essential.

The potential multiplier effects of the social and economic benefits that these opportunities could deliver will reach well beyond the immediate value chain. For example, improved agricultural income can reduce pressure on social support systems. It is clearly in the interest of all stakeholders to work together to ensure success."

Asia Pacific Mobile Observatory 2011 : Driving Economic and Social Development through Mobile Services

Title: Asia Pacific Mobile Observatory 2011 : Driving Economic and Social Development through Mobile Services
Authors: Naveen Menon, Christopher Firth, Samantha Lim
Pages: 96 pp.
Publisher: GSM Association
Date (published): 14/11/2011
Date (accessed): 17/11/2011
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"Asia Pacific is the largest mobile market in the world, and is continuing to show strong growth.
Asia Pacific accounts for half of the total mobile connections in the world, with 3 billion lines. Looking ahead, the region is expected to continue its strong growth, adding a further 1.5 billion connections between 2010 and 2015 – similar in scale to the achievements of the last five years when 1.7 billion new connections were added. This growth and scale is encouraging for consumers and investors alike, as the industry has shown resilience through the global economic crisis by continuing to invest funds to improve the quality of mobile services across the region.
...
Mobile broadband and data services are transforming the landscape.
By 2015 Asia Pacific is expected to account for 40% of global data traffic. Mobile broadband is booming across
the Asia Pacific region, increasingly becoming the standard conduit to access the Internet, partly driven by rapid 3G network rollouts. In all developed Asian markets mobile service coverage now stands at over 95% while the likes of Malaysia and Indonesia have also achieved population coverage of over 80% – especially impressive given the topography of these countries. As a result, the breadth of applications and services delivered over mobile networks is booming. For example, by 2020 there will be an estimated 5.3 billion M2M connections in Asia Pacific.

The inaugural Mobile Broadband Readiness Index (MBRI) indicates that countries creating an ecosystem conducive to growth in mobile data services have the potential to make rapid leaps ahead of their peers. In 2011 we saw Japan rise up to the top of the index above Singapore, driven by its early 4G rollout and its pro-innovation environment. Hong Kong and Vietnam also jumped ahead, demonstrating their strong commitment to fostering a succesfull broadband landscape. Different stages of market evolution will require different strategies to ensure that growth can be sustained.

The mobile sector is having a transformational impact on society. As well as the social, environmental and charitable initiatives led by mobile operators, the industry is making a profound collateral impact on society by creating efficiencies in everyday communication, productivity and knowledge. Communication is more efficient than ever before, with mobile platforms providing a basis for instant social and professional connections. Productivity efficiencies come from data-enabled mobile devices providing greater flexibility in where we process information, allowing us to lead more productive lives and businesses to be more efficient in their delivery of goods and services. Knowledge efficiencies have enabled markets to function more efficiently and the unprecedented ability of consumers to access any information, anytime, anywhere and can provide a deep social, intellectual and financial advantage."

African Mobile Observatory 2011 : Driving Economic and Social Development through Mobile Services

Title: African Mobile Observatory 2011 : Driving Economic and Social Development through Mobile Services
Author Editor: Tom Phillips, Peter Lyons, Mark Page, Laurent Viviez, Dr. Maria Molina, Tim Ensor
Pages: 58 pp.
Publisher: GSM Association
Date (published): 09/11/2011
Date (accessed): 17/11/2011
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"The mobile industry in Africa is booming. With over 620 million mobile connections as of September 2011, Africa has overtaken Latin America to become the second largest mobile market in the world, after Asia. Over the past 10 years, the number of mobile connections in Africa has grown an average of 30% per year and is forecast to reach 735 million by the end of 2012.

Fierce competition has driven down prices and increased penetration. Price wars have been common across the continent as operators compete for market share with innovative revenue and pricing options - operators have reduced prices an average of 18% between 2010 and 2011, making mobile connectivity more broadly affordable to the masses. 96% of subscriptions are pre-paid with voice services currently dominating, however the uptake of data services is increasing rapidly. For example in Kenya data revenues, including SMS, have increased at a remarkable 67% CAGR over the last 4 years and now represent 26% of total revenues.

The Mobile Industry in Africa contributes US$56 billion to the regional economy, equivalent to 3.5% of total GDP. In particular, the mobile ecosystem is estimated to employ over 5 million Africans and is contributing to bringing mobile services to customers right across the continent. However there remains huge untapped potential - 36% of Africans, within the 25 largest African mobile markets (A25), still have no access to mobile services. Projections indicate that raising the whole region to 100% mobile penetration, could add an additional US$35 billion in aggregate GDP to the region, equivalent to a further 2% increase.

The mobile industry in Africa is an enabler of economic development far beyond its immediate domain. Mobile operators have driven the emergence of a unique industry in innovative mobile services in Africa. Mobile Value-Added Services have been launched throughout the continent to enable and support agriculture, banking, education, healthcare and gender equality. In particular, the emergence of mobile money transfers and mobile banking puts Africa firmly at the forefront of the global Mobile Money industry. Beyond mobile services, the mobile industry is also contributing to rural electrical distribution with lower carbon emissions and facilitating the work of NGOs across the continent. Many African governments have prioritized ICT policy as a key driver for development.

For the mobile industry to continue to serve as a catalyst for growth, sufficient spectrum is needed for the provision of mobile broadband services. African countries have currently allocated considerably less spectrum to mobile services than developing countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Allocating the Digital Dividend spectrum to mobile services will enable the mobile industry to accelerate its efforts to bring connectivity and information to large swathes of rural Africa."

The World in 2011: ICT Facts and Figures

Title: The World in 2011: ICT Facts and Figures
Pages: 8 pp.
Publisher: ITU
Date (published): 25/10/2011
Date (accessed): 04/11/2011
Type of information: mini-report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"ITU took the occasion to unveil a new mini-report, The World in 2011, which reveals impressive growth in areas such as global Internet use, particularly in developing countries. The publication confirms that ICT growth continues apace, with close to six billion mobile cellular subscriptions forecast by the end of 2011, and around 2.3 billion people using the Internet.
Growth is fastest in the developing world, and amongst the young, with almost half the world’s online population now under 25 years old. That number should continue to increase steadily as Internet penetration continues to grow in schools.

The developing world’s share of the world’s total Internet users has grown from 44% five years ago, to 62% today. Global Internet penetration has grown by over 50% in three years – from 13% in 2008 to 20% in 2011.

The new ITU figures provide a quick snapshot of broadband deployment worldwide, revealing gaping disparities in high-speed access. While international Internet bandwidth has grown from 11,000 Gbps in 2006 to close to 80,000 Gbps in 2011, Europeans enjoy on average almost 90’000 bps of bandwidth per user compared to Internet users in Africa, who are limited to 2,000 bps per user.

The report shows that the world’s top broadband economies are all located in Europe, Asia and the Pacific. In the Republic of Korea, mobile broadband penetration now exceeds 90%, with nearly all fixed broadband connections providing speeds equal to or above 10 Mbps. In comparison, broadband users in countries such as Ghana, Mongolia, Oman and Venezuela are limited to broadband speeds below 2 Mbps."

The Information Economy Report 2011: ICTs as an Enabler for Private Sector Development

Title: The Information Economy Report 2011: ICTs as an Enabler for Private Sector Development
Pages: 166 pp.
ISBN: 978-92-1-112833-8
e-ISBN: 978-92-1-055120-5
ISSN: 2075-4396
Publisher: UNCTAD
Date (published): 19/10/2011
Date (accessed): 04/11/2011
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"The Information Economy Report 2011: ICTs as an Enabler for Private Sector Development (PSD) is the sixth in the flagship series published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The Report shows that the potential of leveraging information and communication technologies (ICTs) to develop the private sector is far from fully exploited. It finds that many national and donor strategies related to PSD currently fail to take adequate account of the ICT potential, which has greatly expanded thanks to changes in the global ICT landscape. The Report then makes policy recommendations on how to remedy this situation.

The Information Economy Report 2011 identifies four facets of the ICT-PSD interface and argues that policy interventions should take into account this holistic approach.

* ICT infrastructure as a factor in the investment climate.
* ICT use as a factor to improve the performance of the private sector.
* The ICT producing sector as a strategic component of the private sector.
* ICT use as a component of interventions aimed at facilitating PSD.

In these areas, UNCTAD makes several policy recommendations, such as:
* To take a comprehensive and systematic approach when integrating the ICT dimension into PSD strategies in developing countries.
* To continue to extend affordable and relevant connectivity to locations with poor ICT infrastructure.
* To adopt regulatory frameworks aiming to improve confidence in the use of technologies and their applications.
* To include ICT modules in business skills´ training programmes.
* To harness mobile money services to meet the needs of MSEs and to make financial markets more inclusive.
* To use ICT tools to reduce the cost of doing business, and to help MSEs bring goods and services to domestic and international markets.
* To develop Donor Guidelines to ensure that the ICT potential is fully harnessed in their PSD strategies.

The Information Economy Report 2011 explores various options and examples of interventions by national governments and their development partners related to the four facets of the interface between ICTs and PSD. Among the cases cited are:
* Customs automation in Madagascar and Liberia and reforms to streamline business registration procedures in the Philippines, as a means to provide a more conducive business environment.
* Programmes to increase the number and quality of entrepreneurial and ICT skills in Egypt, Singapore, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Panama as a means to promote the development of human resources.
* Regulating and promoting the development of mobile money applications in Africa, as a means to enhance financial inclusiveness and open up business opportunities for micro- and small enterprises.
* The case of ICT freelancers in Bangladesh, as an example of existing opportunities to find low-skilled employment in the ICT producing sector.
* The use of ICTs to support women entrepreneurs in developing countries, as a means to overcome the existing gender gap in available digital opportunities.

In the Statistical Annex of the Report UNCTAD presents among other things new data on ICT use by enterprises of different size and in various industries"

Mobile Phones Dominate in South Africa

Title: Mobile Phones Dominate in South Africa
Author: Jan Hutton
Source: Nielsen Wire
Date (published): 30/09/2011
Date (accessed): 17/10/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Africa is in the midst of a technological revolution, and nothing illustrates that fact than the proliferation of mobile phones. Consider this: more Africans have access to mobile phones than to clean drinking water. In South Africa, the continent’s strongest economy, mobile phone use has gone from 17 percent of adults in 2000 to 76 percent in 2010. Today, more South Africans – 29 million – use mobile phones than radio (28 million), TV (27 million) or personal computers (6 million). Only 5 million South Africans use landline phones.

Nielsen’s recently released Mobile Insights study in South Africa, which examined consumers’ usage of and attitudes toward mobile phones, networks and services, reveals a number of interesting insights:

High levels of network loyalty: 95 percent of subscribers have been with their carrier for an average of 4.2 years, and 81 percent said they’d recommend their network providers to friends and family, reinforcing the importance of word-of-mouth and reputation in the industry.

Move from pre-paid to contracts: While pre-paid plans still make up between 82 and 85 percent of the market, 25 percent of subscribers say they could switch from pre-paid to contract packages within the next year.

Network quality a key decision factor: More than a quarter (27%) said they left their previous provider due to poor network quality.

Nokia rules: More than half (52%) own that company’s handsets, followed by Samsung and BlackBerry, and 56 percent of those currently using other brands indicated their next handset would likely be a Nokia.

How do South Africans Use their phones?

As in other countries, mobile phones are being used in a range of ways aside from talking. South Africa ranks fifth in the world for mobile data usage, ahead of the United States, which ranks seventh.

More than 20 percent of those surveyed said they download ringtones and a similar number said they download music. Wallpapers, screensavers and pictures are also popular downloadables. The mobile phone as an Internet device is also on the rise – 11 percent of South Africans use their mobiles to go online, and consumers aged 25-34 are the heaviest users. Facebook is the most popular social media platform, used by 85 percent of mobile subscribers. Half of all users of Facebook in South Africa access the site via their mobiles. MXIT, a mobile instant messaging platform, is also popular in the country, with 61 percent saying they access the site.

SMS text messaging is practically ubiquitous among South African mobile customers, and is used by almost 4.2 times more people than e-mail. More than two-thirds (69%) of consumers prefer sending texts to calling, in large part because it is less expensive, and 10 percent believe texting to be a faster way of communicating.

The majority (60%) of South African mobile users said they are aware of mobile banking services offered by banks, but only 21 percent say they use such services. A much larger number of those aware of the services said they would never use them, suggesting banks might need to invest in communicating the benefits and security of mobile banking."

Global mobile connections to surpass 6 billion by year-end

Title: Global mobile connections to surpass 6 billion by year-end
Source: Wireless Intelligence:
Date (published): 15/09/2011
Date (accessed): 21/09/2011
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Latest billion connections added in just 16 months; Asia-Pacific to account for 50% of global total

Total global mobile connections are set to surpass 6 billion by year-end, according to the latest Wireless Intelligence forecasts, a landmark which would mean the industry has added the last 1 billion connections in just 16 months. Wireless Intelligence estimates that the 6 billion milestone will be reached in late November and that total global connections will end the year at 6.07 billion.

The latest census estimates predict that the world’s population will also reach a major milestone soon, surpassing 7 billion people worldwide in October 2011. This implies a global mobile penetration rate of 86 percent, up from 74 percent at the 5 billion connections point.

Our forecasts for Q4 2011 include a number of other milestones. Global growth is being driven by the Asia-Pacific region, which will rise to account for 50 percent of all connections by year-end, up a percentage point from Q2 2011. Almost two-thirds of the Asia-Pacific total relates to China and India, the two largest mobile markets in the world, which are both on track to each hit 1 billion connections early next year.

Six of the world's top ten largest mobile markets will be located in Asia-Pacific by this point. As well as China (#1) and India (#2), these include Indonesia (#4), Vietnam (#7), Japan (#8) and Pakistan (#9). Also in Q4, Africa is set to overtake the Americas as the second-largest regional market on 648 million connections (11 percent of the total). Africa is forecast to record the strongest year-on-year connections growth of all the global regions, rising 18 percent over the previous year. The quarter will also see Eastern Europe overtake Western Europe in terms of connections. Western Europe is forecast to record the weakest year-on-year growth, up just 3 percent. The 5 billion global connections milestone was reached in July 2010, and came 18 months after the 4 billion mark was reached at the end of 2008. The mobile penetration rate on a global basis at the 5 billion mark was 74 percent, compared to 60 percent at 4 billion."

Measuring the Information Society 2011

Title: Measuring the Information Society 2011
Pages: 174 pp.
ISBN: 92-61-13801-2
Publisher: International Telecommunication Union
Date (published): 15/09/2011
Date (accessed): 16/09/2011
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf, excluding Annex 5, which includes the tariff data)
Abstract:
"The latest edition of Measuring the Information Society features ITU's two key benchmarking tools to measure the Information Society: the ICT Development Index (IDI) and the ICT Price Basket (IPB). The IDI captures the level of ICT developments in 152 economies worldwide and compares progress made during the past two years. The IPB combines fixed telephone, mobile cellular and fixed broadband Internet tariffs for 165 economies into one measure and compares these across countries, and over time. The report also presents the latest global market trends, takes a closer look at broadband and analyses the digital divide among Internet users. The analytical report is complemented by a series of statistical tables providing country-level data for the indicators included in the two indices.

The IDI combines 11 indicators into a single measure that can be used as a benchmarking tool globally, regionally, and at national level, as well as helping track progress in ICT development over time. It measures ICT access, use and skills, and includes such indicators as mobile cellular subscriptions, households with a computer, fixed and mobile broadband Internet subscriptions, and basic literacy rates. For the first time this year, the IDI’s ‘ICT use’ sub-index grew more than the ‘ICT access’ sub-index, reflecting the fact that many countries have reached saturation levels in terms of basic ICT infrastructure and are becoming active ICT users.

Geneva, 15 September 2011 - New figures released today by ITU show that information and communication technology (ICT) uptake continues to accelerate worldwide, spurred by a steady fall in the price of telephone and broadband Internet services.

The new data, released in ITU’s flagship annual ICT report ‘Measuring the Information Society 2011’, rank the Republic of Korea as the world’s most advanced ICT economy, followed by Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and Finland.

A key feature of the report is the ICT Development Index (IDI)*, which ranks 152 countries according to their level of ICT access, use and skills, and compares 2008 and 2010 scores. Most countries at the top of the ranking are from Europe and Asia Pacific. The United Arab Emirates and Russia rank first within their respective regions and Uruguay ranks highest in South America. Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Viet Nam, and Russia were some of the most dynamic countries between 2008 and 2010, with all of them making substantial improvements in their IDI ranks.

All countries included in the IDI improved their scores this year, underlining the increasing pervasiveness of ICTs in today’s global information society. “While the IDI leaders are all from the developed world, it is extremely encouraging to see that the most dynamic performers are developing countries,” said Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General. “The ‘mobile miracle’ is putting ICT services within reach of even the most disadvantaged people and communities. Our challenge now is to replicate that success in broadband.” This report shows that while ICT and income levels are closely related, getting the right public policy mix can drive faster take-up and a number of countries, including Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea have higher IDI levels than their income level would predict.

Mobile now ubiquitous
The spread of mobile networks in developing countries remains buoyant, with 20 per cent growth in mobile subscriptions over the past year and no signs of a slowdown.
In developed countries, on the other hand, mobile cellular penetration has reached saturation, with average penetration now over 100% at end 2010, compared with 70% in developing countries. With more than five billion subscriptions and global population coverage of over 90%, mobile cellular is now de facto ubiquitous.
Mobile broadband (‘3G’) services are also spreading quickly; by end 2010, 154 economies worldwide had launched 3G networks. Wireless broadband Internet access remains the strongest growth sector in developing countries, with mobile broadband growing by 160% between 2009 and 2010. Countries registering the highest gains in the IDI ‘ICT use’ sub-index are mostly those which have achieved a sizeable increase in mobile broadband subscriptions.
Conversely, the number of dial-up Internet subscriptions has been decreasing rapidly since 2007 and, based on current trends, the ‘death of dial-up’ is expected to become a reality over the next few years.

Affordability improves, but developing world still paying too much
Globally, telecommunication and Internet services are becoming more affordable. According to the 2010 ICT Price Basket (IPB), which spans 165 economies and combines the average cost of fixed telephone, mobile cellular and fixed broadband Internet services, the price of ICT services dropped by 18% globally between 2008 and 2010, with the biggest decrease in fixed broadband Internet services, where average prices have come down by 52%.
All economies in the IPB top ten have high GNI per capita, and, with the exception of the United Arab Emirates, all are from Europe and Asia Pacific. In developed countries, average prices for ICT services correspond to no more than 1.5. % of monthly per capita income, compared with 17% in developing countries. But while broadband prices declined sharply worldwide, a high-speed Internet connection remains unaffordable in many low-income countries. For example, in Africa at end 2010, fixed broadband services cost on average the equivalent of 290% of monthly income, down from 650% in 2008.

Big disparities in speed and service quality
Comparing fixed- and mobile broadband technologies and services, the report also finds huge differences in network capacity, speed and quality.
In many developing countries, while the minimum speed for broadband (256 kbit/s) may be sufficient for email and other very basic services, it is inadequate for graphics-rich data-intensive applications and services. In addition, the report notes that the actual speed experienced by both fixed- and mobile broadband customers is often much lower than the advertised speed, and calls on ICT regulators to take steps to encourage operators to provide consumers with clearer information on coverage, speed and prices.
“A new digital divide is unfolding between those with high-speed/capacity/quality access – as is the case in many high-income countries – and those with lower speed/capacity/quality access, as is the case in many low-income countries,” said Mr Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “Policy-makers should act swiftly to facilitate the spread of broadband and ensure that broadband services are faster, more reliable and affordable.”
The report also points to important qualitative differences between fixed- and mobile broadband services. The average speed of a mobile broadband subscription does not usually match that of a high-speed fixed subscription and usually includes data caps, unlike the ‘unlimited data’ fixed broadband offers that are now widely available. This represents a challenge for countries where mobile is the only broadband access technology available to end users – which is the case in many developing countries.
Targeting youth could be transformational

ITU research indicates that targeting students may be the most effective way to increase Internet use in developing countries. The Internet is only used by an around 21 per cent of the population in the developing world, compared with almost 70 per cent in developed countries.

The Measuring the Information Society 2011 report suggests that the main barriers to Internet use are not always related to infrastructure and price. Usage patterns show major differences related to education, gender, income, age and geographical location of users (urban/rural). For example, there is remarkably little difference in patterns of Internet use among highly educated, high-income individuals across the developing and developed worlds. People with higher educational degrees use the Internet more than those with a lower level of education, and in most countries more men than women are online.

Young people (below the age of 25) are online more than older people, and there is a higher level of Internet use among those currently in school compared with those no longer studying. Assuming that people will continue using the Internet once they have become accustomed to being online, those currently enrolled at school or university are more likely to be future Internet users, too. For young people all over the world, social networking and user-created content like blogs have become key drivers of Internet uptake.
Given that 46 per cent of the population in developing countries is below the age of 25 (representing more than 2.5 billion people), the report suggests that one of the most effective ways to increase Internet use in these countries is by targeting the younger generation – for example through connecting schools and other educational institutions, and improving enrolment rates.

Download the executive summary: English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian (PDF format)

Order the full report by clicking here"

Government of Bhutan, Ministry of Information and Communications: Annual Report: 2010-2011

Title: Government of Bhutan, Ministry of Information and Communications: Annual Report: 2010-2011
Pages: 38 pp.
Source: Ministry of Information and Communications
Publisher: Government of Bhutan
Date (published): 06/07/2011
Date (accessed): 07/09/2011
Type of information: statistical report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"This Annual Report of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) in the present format is being produced for the first time although the system of sharing and disseminating such information existed even in the past. The present report provides a general overview of some of the main activities implemented by MoIC and its line agencies during the financial year 2010-2011. Hereafter, this will become an annual feature and even expanded to provide thorough and more detailed statistical information, together with analysis of sector performance during the one year period."

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