South Korea has been rated as one of the most advanced countries in ICT developments, as shown by the fact that the country has maintained its top-ranked position in the ICT Development Index (IDI) for three consecutive years.
In particular, Korea is the third-largest country with digital natives, those who were born and grew up in a digital environment, which accounts for 13.5 percent of the total population. Moreover, 99.6 percent of Korean teenagers are digital natives, which placed the nation in the top spot.
According to the ITU Measuring the Information Society (MIS) report on Oct. 21, 84.8 percent of the total population in Korea is using the Internet, and thus the country is among the top 20 countries in Internet use. The number is higher than global average (37. 9 percent), Asia-pacific average (30.1 percent), or East Asia average (50 percent).
The number of fixed broadband subscriptions in the nation is 18.7 million, which means 38 out of 100 people are using broadband services, well over the global average (9.4 percent) and the Asia Pacific average (15.6 percent).
The figure for wireless broadband subscriptions is 50.19 million, and therefore the nation's wireless broadband penetration rates stood at 105.3 percent, far above the global average (26.7 percent) and the East Asia average (32.8 percent).
The proportion of households with Internet access is 98 percent, the world's highest. In addition, 80.6 percent of households in the nation have computers.
The report said that Korea's ICT service price is reasonable. The index for the ICT price basket (IPB) is 0.8 as of 2012, which put the country in 16th place. It means that the communication costs of fixed telephony, mobile-cellular, and fixed broadband included in the IPB are reasonable compared to the price of goods in Korea.
Among these, fixed-line telephone costs and mobile phone bills represent 0.4 percent of the nation's nominal gross national income (GNI) per capita, and the price of fixed broadband is 1.6 percent of the GNI per capita.
As a result, Korea topped the ICT development index. An ITU representative said, “Korea was initially in the third spot in 2010. However, it became the top-ranked country in the world, since ITU indicators were modified when the 2011 report was published.” The official added, “If that is taken into account, Korea actually ranked first in the IDI for four years in a row.”