The UK is among the top three most network-connected countries, according to a study of the world’s economies.
The UK is behind only Germany and the US in its development of internet services, according to an index of the most connected countries. The Huawei Global Connectivity Index claims to be an objective study of the impact of connectivity on economic growth.
“The better the connectivity, the more GDP will grow," said William Xu, chief strategy officer at Huawei.
The index awards countries a connectivity score based on 16 factors, including broadband speed and availability and the number of smartphone connections. It found that for every percentage point increase on the index, the GDP per capita of a country increases by 1.4% to 1.9%, with emerging economies showing the highest improvement.
The top 10 wired countries
- New Zealand
Source: Huawei Global Connectivity Index
Germany ranks as the most wired country due to the wide availability of low-cost, high-speed broadband and a rapidly growing take-up of internet services. The UK has invested less heavily in broadband and telecommunications services than Germany and the US, the analysis suggests.
The real surprises are the inclusion of Chile and Kenya in the top 10. Chile is spending an average of 0.9% of its GDP on telecoms, and the number of fixed and mobile internet connections deployed in the country is growing rapidly.
Although Kenya has poor internet infrastructure, it makes the list because the country is investing heavily in developing its mobile broadband infrastructure.
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Kenya has seen a huge take-up of mobile banking technology, which has encouraged the development of high-tech hubs in the capital, Nairobi. China ranks mid-range in the list of 25, and still has room for major improvements in its mobile and broadband infrastructure, the analysis suggests.
Worldwide, the finance industry, education, oil and gas, and manufacturing markets are driving the growth of mobile and fixed internet services. Manufacturing companies are developing what Xu calls an industrial internet, which will link machines and manufacturing plants across global networks.
By 2025, Huawei predicts that global IT spending will reach $5tn, with as many as 100 billion devices connected to the internet.