Huawei Global Connectivity Index (GCI) 2017 study shows how countries are progressing with digital transformation.
The study released on Monday is based on 40 indicators that cover five technology enablers: broadband, data centers, cloud, big data and Internet of Things.
According to GCI 2017, the world’s GCI score has grown four percentage points since 2015 — indicating that digital economy is picking up pace globally.
Huawei said 16 are considered Frontrunners, 21 are Adopters, while the remaining 13 are Starters — of the 50 countries that were analyzed.
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Frontrunners (average GDP per capita of US$50,000) are mostly developed economies, continually boosting digital user experience, using big data and IoT to develop more intelligent, efficient societies.
Adopters (average GDP per capita of US$15,000) are focused on increasing ICT demand to facilitate industry digitization and high-quality economic growth.
Starters (average GDP capita of US$3,000) are in the early stage of ICT infrastructure build-out, and focus on increasing ICT supply to give more people access to the digital world.
Frontrunners achieved an increase of 4.7 GCI points from 2015 to 2017 by leveraging the capabilities of Cloud, Big Data and IoT. Adopters experienced a lift of 4.5 points on average.
The slower Starters fell farther behind in their ability to compete in the Digital Economy, with only a 2.4 point improvement in overall GCI scores.
Key areas where inequality between the clusters is an issue include mobile broadband subscriptions, IT workforce per capita, ICT investment per GDP, apps download per capita and IoT installed base per capita. 1 point increase in GCI score is equivalent to 1) a 2.1 percent increase in competitiveness 2) 2.2 percent increase in national innovation, and 3) a 2.3 percent increase in productivity.
The report said a nation which increased investment in ICT investment in infrastructure by additional 10 percent annually from 2017 to 2025 can benefit from a multiplier effect.
“Using this economic impact model we find that every additional US$1 of ICT infrastructure investment could bring a return of US$3 in GDP at present, US$3.70 in 2020 and the potential return increases to US$5 in 2025,” the report said.
“To stay competitive, nations at an early stage of digital transformation will need to prioritize ICT infrastructure development, especially broadband connectivity and cloud adoption to a strategic level in economic planning to activate local resources and reach sustainable growth,” said Kevin Zhang, president of Huawei Corporate Marketing.
The 50 countries assessed by the GCI 2017 account for 90 percent of global GDP and 78 percent of the world’s population.