Turkey continues its mediocrity in the IT sector
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has released two reports this year, one in May and the last one a few days ago. The report in May described the information and communication technology (ICT) development in the world very briefly; the last one, however, gave us detailed insight. First of all, I would like to get you updated on the world’s situation.
ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau Director Brahima Sanou wrote: “This year governments are making their final assessment of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals [MDGs], which global leaders agreed upon in the year 2000. Over the past 15 years the ICT revolution has driven global development in an unprecedented way. Technological progress, infrastructure deployment and falling prices have brought unexpected growth in ICT access and connectivity to billions of people around the world. In 2015 there are more than 7 billion mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide, up from less than 1 billion in 2000. Globally 3.2 billion people are using the internet of which 2 billion are from developing countries. ICTs will play an even more significant role in the post-2015 development agenda and in achieving future sustainable development goals as the world moves faster and faster towards a digital society.”
In light of the importance of ICT for any country to develop, the statistics below are striking.
For every internet user in the developed world there are two in the developing world. However, 4 billion people from developing countries remain offline, representing two-thirds of the population residing in developing countries. Of the 940 million people living in the least developed countries (LDCs), only 89 million use the internet, corresponding to a 9.5 percent penetration rate. The proportion of households with internet access at home increased from 18 percent in 2005 to 46 percent in 2015. Mobile broadband is the most dynamic market segment; globally, mobile broadband penetration has reached 47 percent in 2015, a value that increased 12 times since 2007. Fixed broadband uptake is growing at a slower pace, with a 7 percent annual increase over the past three years and reaching 11 percent penetration by the end of 2015. Also by the end of 2015, 34 percent of households in developing countries have internet access, compared with more than 80 percent in developed countries. Mobile broadband penetration levels are highest in Europe and the Americas, at around 78 active subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. Africa is the only region where mobile broadband penetration remains below 20 percent. Africa and the Arab States stand out as the regions with the fewest fixed-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, at less than one and less than four, respectively. In 2014, in 111 countries the price of a basic (fixed or mobile) broadband plan corresponded to less than 5 percent of average GNI per capita, thus meeting the Broadband Commission target. In developing countries, average monthly fixed broadband prices (in PPP$) are three times higher than in developed countries; mobile broadband prices are twice as expensive as in developed countries.
So what about Turkey?
Turkey ranks 69th, two places lower than the last report in 2005, in the ICT Development Index (IDI). This puts Turkey in a mediocre situation in the world and the third worst in Europe. Bosnia and Albania are worse off than Turkey in IDI as European countries.
I have written this over and over again but if a country is mediocre in terms of ICT it cannot be excellent in any other areas in this age that we are living. The question to the government is simple: Do we embrace mediocrity or are we going to do anything to boost our ICT rankings?