The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) -- the United Nations Specialized agency for information and communication technology (ICT) -- has released the ninth edition of the annual “Measuring the Information Society (MIS) Report” on November 15 (local time). The report is said to be an ITU flagship publication widely recognized as the repository of the world's most reliable and impartial global data and analysis on the state of global ICT development.
This year’s report finds that concurrent advances in the Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics, cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) will enable tremendous innovations and fundamentally transform business, government and society – ultimately serving to improve livelihoods around the globe.
“This year’s report shows that ICTs have the potential to make the world a better place and contribute immensely to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao, addng, “However, despite the overall progress achieved, the digital divide remains a challenge which needs to be addressed. The digital revolution can transform the lives of billions of men, women and children as well as nations in entire continents, but only if digital resources are accessible. This report will help to support countries to do just that.”
“It is my hope that this report will be of great value to the ITU memberships, particularly for policy-makers, the ICT industry and others working towards building an inclusive global information society,” said Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau, which produces the report each year. “Fully harnessing the economic and social benefits of the digital revolution requires efficient and affordable physical infrastructures and services, more advanced user skills, and internationally comparable benchmarks and indicators to support enabling public policies,” he added.
In particular, the ITU ICT Development Index 2017 (IDI 2017) featured in the MIS report is a unique benchmark of the level of ICT development in countries across the world. Iceland tops the IDI 2017 rankings. South Korea ranks second, followed by Switzerland, Denmark and United Kingdom. Japan and the United States rank 10th and 16th. Those ICT leading countries have competitive ICT markets that have experienced high levels of ICT investment and innovation over many years.
The IDI has been based on 11 indicators up to now. However, recent developments in ICT markets have led to the review of those indicators. As a result of that review, the index 2018 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.
This year’s report features – for the first time – country profiles highlighting the ICT market structure and the latest developments in 192 economies worldwide. Each profile includes an overview of the policy and regulatory initiatives undertaken as well as the current status of network roll-out and service uptake. These profiles are presented in Volume II of this year’s report.