6 out of 10 people worldwide use mobile phones – ICT Development Index compares 154 countries

The International Telecommunications Union released their annual survey of ICT usage worldwide this month.

The report (press release, full PDF), compares information and telecommunications technology (ICT) over 154 different countries, from 2002 to 2007.

The most advanced countries in terms of ICT were found mostly in Northern Europe, although South Korea came in second (above both the US and the UK).  Sweden topped the list. 

Poorer countries, notably this in Africa, were found to have lower ICT development scores, as would be expected.  Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China and Viet Nam, however, have made rapid growth over the last 5 years (due mostly to the combination of combined mobile phone users and Internet adoption).

Other notable statistics from the report include:

  • On average the world increased its ICT usage by over 30% in the past 5 years.  
  • 23 out of 100 of the world’s inhabitants use the Internet.
  • There are approximately 3x as many mobile phone users as fixed line users.
  • ICT costs are lowest in Singapore and the United States, accounting for less than 1% of monthly expenses.
  • ICT costs ranged between 40 and 72% in the bottom least developed countries, a clear indication of their unavailability for the general public.
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