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    ICT at a Glance Definitions and Sources

    Adult literacy rate is the percentage of people ages 15 and older who can, with understanding, read and write a short, simple statement about their everyday life. (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics)

    Fixed broadband Internet access tariff is the lowest sampled cost per 100 kilobits a second per month and are calculated from low and high speed monthly service charges. Monthly charges do not include installation fees or modern rentals. (International Telecommunication Union)

    Fixed broadband Internet subscribers are the number of broadband Internet subscribers with a digital subscriber line, cable modem, or other high-speed technology. (International Telecommunication Union)

    E-government Web measure index measures the level of sophistication of a government’s online presence based on four stages of e-government evolution: emerging presence, enhanced presence, transactional presence, and connected presence (1=best). (UNDESA and UNPAN)

    GDP growth is the annual percentage rate of growth of gross domestic product (GDP) at market prices based on constant local currency. Aggregates are based on constant 2000 U.S. dollars. GDP is the sum of gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. It is calculated without deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and deg­radation of natural resources. (World Bank and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)

    GNI per capita, World Bank Atlas method, is gross national income (GNI) converted to U.S. dollars using the World Bank Atlas method divided by the midyear population. GNI is the sum of value added by all resident produc­ers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output plus net receipts of primary income (compensation of employees and property income) from abroad. GNI, calculated in national currency, is usually converted to U.S. dollars at official exchange rates for comparisons across economies. The World Bank Atlas method is used to smooth fluctuations in prices and exchange rates. It averages the exchange rate for a given year and the two preceding years, adjusted for differences in rates of inflation between the country and the Euro area, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. (World Bank)

    Gross primary, secondary, and tertiary enrollment is the combined number of students enrolled in primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of education, regardless of age, as a percentage of the population of official school age for the three levels. (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics)

    Households with a television are the percentage of households with a television (a stand-alone device capable of receiving broadcast television signals using access means such as over-the-air, cable, and satellite. (International Telecommunication Union)

    ICT expenditure comprises computer hardware (computers, storage devices, printers, and other peripherals); computer software (operating sys­tems, programming tools, utilities, applications, and internal software devel­opment); computer services (information technology consulting, computer and network systems integration, web hosting, data processing services, and other services); and communications services (voice and data com­munications services) and wired and wireless communications equipment. (Global Insight and World Information Technology and Services Alliance)

    ICT goods exports and ICT goods imports are goods that are either intended to fulfill the function of information processing and communication by electronic means, including transmission and display; or use electronic processing to detect, measure, and/or record physical phenomena or to control a physical process. ICT goods exports and imports include the following broad categories: telecommunications equipment, computer and related equipment, electronic components, audio and video equipment, and other ICT goods. Re-exports (exports of foreign goods in the same state as previously imported) are also included. (UN Comtrade)

    ICT service exports includes communications services (telecommunications, business network services, teleconferencing, support services, and postal services) and computer and information services (database, data processing, software design and development, maintenance and repair, and news agency services). (IMF)

    International Internet bandwidth refers to the capacity which backbone operators provide to carry Internet traffic. (International Telecommunication Union and TeleGeography)

    International voice traffic is the sum of international incoming and outgoing telephone traffic (in minutes). (International Telecommunication Union and TeleGeography)

    Internet subscribers includes people who pay for access to the Internet (dial up, leased line, and fixed broadband). The number of subscribers measures all those who are paying for Internet use, including the so-called “free Internet” used by those who pay via the cost of their telephone call, those who pay in advance for a given amount of time (prepaid), and those who pay for a subscription (either flat-rate or volume-per-usage based). (International Telecommunication Union)

    Internet users includes subscribers who pay for Internet access (dial-up, leased line, and fixed broadband) and people with access to the worldwide computer network without paying directly, either as the member of a household, or from work or school. Therefore, the number of Internet users will always be much larger than the number of subscribers, typically by a factor of 2–3 in developed countries and more in developing countries. (International Telecommunication Union)

    Level of competition, international long distance, refers to the level of compe­tition for international long distance telephone calls (M = monopoly, P = partial competition, C = full competition). (International Telecommunication Union and World Bank)

    Level of competition, Internet service, refers to the level of competition for retail Internet access service (M = monopoly, P = partial competition, C = full competition). (International Telecommunication Union and World Bank)

    Level of competition, mobile telephone service, refers to the level of com­petition for digital cellular mobile services (M = monopoly, P = partial com­petition, C = full competition). (International Telecommunication Union and World Bank)

    Mobile and fixed-line subscribers per employee are telephone subscribers (fixed line plus mobile) divided by the total number of telecommunications employees. (International Telecommunication Union)

    Mobile cellular subscriptions refer to the number of subscriptions to a public mobile telephone service using cellular technology, which provides access to the Public Switched Telephone Network. Post-paid and prepaid subscriptions are included. (International Telecommunication Union)

    Mobile cellular prepaid tariff is based on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s low user definition, which includes the cost of monthly mobile use for 25 outgoing calls per month spread over the same network, other mobile networks, and mobile to fixed-line calls and during peak, off-peak, and weekend times as well as 30 text messages per month. (International Telecommunication Union)

    Mobile telephone usage measures the minutes of use per mobile user per month. (Wireless Intelligence)

    Personal computers are self-contained computers designed to be used by a single individual. (International Telecommunication Union)

    Population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship, except for refugees not permanently settled in the country of asylum, who are generally con­sidered part of the population of their country of origin. Data are midyear estimates. (World Bank)

    Population covered by mobile cellular network is the percentage of people that live within areas served by a mobile cellular signal regardless of whether they use it. (International Telecommunication Union)

    Residential fixed line tariff is the monthly subscription charge plus the cost of 30 three-minute local calls (15 peak and 15 off-peak). (International Telecommunication Union)

    Secure Internet servers are the number of servers using encryption tech­nology for Internet transactions. Data listed for 2008 are for December 2009. (Netcraft)

    Separate telecommunications regulator indicates whether the country has a separate telecommunications regulator. (International Telecommunication Union)

    Status of main fixed-line telephone operator indicates whether the incum­bent fixed-line operator is a public or private entity. Public refers to a fully state-owned operator, private refers to a fully private operator, and mixed refers to a partially private operator. (International Telecommunication Union and World Bank)

    Telecommunications revenue is revenue from the provision of telecom­munications services such as fixed line, mobile, and data. (International Telecommunication Union)

    Telecommunications investment is total telecommunications investment (capital expenditure) as a percentage of telecommunications revenue. (International Telecommunication Union)

    Telephone lines are telephone lines connecting a subscriber’s terminal equipment to the public switched telephone network and which have a port on a telephone exchange. The number of ISDN channels and fixed wireless subscribers are included. (International Telecommunication Union)

    Urban population is the midyear population of areas defined as urban in each country and reported to the United Nations. (United Nations)

    Information on the original data providers

    The organizations noted above have made the ICT at a Glance tables possible by sharing their data and their expertise with us. More important, their collaboration contributes to the World Bank's efforts, and to those of many others, to improve the quality of life of the world's people. We acknowledge our debt and gratitude to all who have helped to build a base of comprehensive, quantitative information about ICT. PLEASE CITE THE ORIGINAL SOURCES LISTED FOR THIRD-PARTY USE OF THESE DATA.

    International Monetary Fund
    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization of 185 member countries established to promote international monetary cooperation, a stable system of exchange rates, and the balanced expansion of international trade and to foster economic growth and high levels of employment. The IMF reviews national, regional, and global economic and financial developments, provides policy advice to member countries and serves as a forum where they can discuss the national, regional, and global consequences of their policies.

    The IMF also makes financing temporarily available to member countries to help them address balance of payments problems. Among the IMF’s core missions are the collection and dissemination of high-quality macroeconomic and financial statistics as an essential prerequisite for formulating appropriate policies. The IMF provides technical assistance and training to member countries in areas of its core expertise, including the development of economic and financial data in accordance with international standards.

    For more information, see

    International Telecommunication Union
    The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the leading UN agency for information and communication technologies. ITU’s mission is to enable the growth and sustained development of telecommunications and information networks and to facilitate universal access so that people everywhere can participate in, and benefit from, the emerging information society and global economy. A key priority lies in bridging the so-called Digital Divide by building information and communication infrastructure, promoting adequate capacity building, and developing confidence in the use of cyberspace through enhanced online security. ITU also concentrates on strengthening emergency communications for disaster prevention and mitigation.

    For more information, see

    Netcraft provides Internet security services such as antifraud and antiphishing services, application testing, code reviews, and automated penetration testing. Netcraft also provides research data and analysis on many aspects of the Internet and is a respected authority on the market share of web servers, operating systems, hosting providers, Internet service providers, encrypted transactions, electronic commerce, scripting languages, and content technologies on the Internet.

    For more information, see

    United Nations
    The United Nations currently has 192 member states. The purposes of the United Nations, as set forth in the Charter, are to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and to be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these ends.

    For more information, see

    United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Institute for Statistics
    The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes international cooperation among member states and associate membersin education, science, culture and communications. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics is the organization’s statistical branch, established in July 1999 to meet the growing needs of UNESCO member states and the international community for a wider range of policy-relevant, timely, and reliable statistics on these topics.

    For more information, see


    The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat (UNDESA) is a vital interface between global policies in the economic, social and environmental spheres and national action. The Department works in three main interlinked areas: it compiles, generates and analyses a wide range of economic, social and environmental data and information on which States Members of the United Nations draw to review common problems and to take stock of policy options; it facilitates the negotiations of Member States in many intergovernmental bodies on joint courses of action to address ongoing or emerging global challenges; and it advises interested Governments on the ways and means of translating policy frameworks developed in United Nations conferences and summits into programmes at the country level and, through technical assistance, helps build national capacities.

    For more information, visit


    The mission of the United Nations Online Network in Public Administration and Finance (UNPAN) is to promote the sharing of knowledge, experiences and best practices throughout the world in sound public policies, effective public administration and efficient civil services, through capacity-building and cooperation among the United Nations Member States, with emphasis on south-south cooperation and UNPAN's commitment to integrity and excellence.


    For more information, visit


    Wireless Intelligence

    Wireless Intelligence is part of GSM Media LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of GSMC Limited, the organisation behind the GSMA Mobile World Congress and GSMA Mobile Asia Congress. Founded in 1987, The GSM Association (GSMA) is a global trade association representing more than 700 GSM mobile phone operators across 217 territories and countries of the world. In addition, more than 180 manufacturers and suppliers support the Association's initiatives as associate members.


    For more information, visit

    World Information Technology and Services Alliance
    The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is a consortium of leading information technology industry associations in over 60 economies. As the global voice of the information technology industry, WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance the industry’s growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in information technology products and services; strengthening WITSA’s national industry associations; and providing members with a broad network of contacts. WITSA also hosts the World Congress on Information Technology and other worldwide events.

    For more information, visit

    World Bank
    The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance for developing countries. The World Bank is made up of two unique development institutions owned by 185 member countries—the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). These institutions play different but collaborative roles to advance the vision of an inclusive and sustainable globalization. The IBRD focuses on middle-income and creditworthy poor countries, while IDA focuses on the poorest countries. Together they provide low-interest loans, interest-free credits, and grants to developing countries for a wide array of purposes, including investments in education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management. The World Bank’s work focuses on achieving the Millennium Development Goals by working with partners to alleviate poverty.

    For more information, see

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