Business and Development Sector Reports

World Bank releases report on impact of Communications Technology on Development

The World Bank has released a new report titled Information and Communications for Development 2009: Extending Reach and Increasing Impact which takes an in-depth look at how ICT, and particularly broadband and mobile, are impacting economic growth in developing countries.

The data section includes at-a-glance tables for 150 economies of the latest available data on ICT sector performance. Performance measures for access, affordability and applications in government and business are also introduced.

New information and communications technologies (ICT), in particular high-speed internet, are changing the way companies do business, transforming public service delivery and democratizing innovation. For instance a 10 percent increase in high speed Internet connections, economic growth increases by 1.3 percent.

Some key conclusions of the report are which are applicable to India are :

1. Some Indian states which have a high mobile penetration can be expected to grow faster. For every 10% increase in mobile penetration the rate of growth is expected to be 1.2% higher.

2. At a threshold of 25% mobile penetration there is a significant impact on economic growth of the state. As of March 2010 all the Indian states had a wireless penetration above 25% with Delhi having the highest at 174%.

3. It is the level of telecom penetration, and not the growth, which contributes to economic growth. Even though India has the highest growth rate , it still lags behind most other countries in terms of teledensity (Teledensity is 56% in India).

world bank report ICT

Download World Bank Report on ICT for development  in PDF at link below

Information and Communications for Development 2009: Extending Reach and Increasing Impact

Read it Online at the link below

http://issuu.com/world.bank.publications/docs/9780821376058

Overview of World Bank Report

Information and Communications for Development 2009: Extending Reach and Increasing Impact

Information and Communications for Development (IC4D) is a regular publication of the World Bank Group on the diffusion and impact of information and communication technology (ICT).

The first report, IC4D 2006: Global Trends and Policies, analyzed lessons on developing access to ICT, examined the roles of the public and private sectors in this process, and identified the benefits and challenges of adopting and expanding ICT use in businesses.

This second report, IC4D 2009: Extending Reach and Increasing Impact, takes a close look at mobile and broadband connectivity. It analyzes the development impact of high-speed Internet access in developing countries and provides policy options for rolling out broadband networks and addressing the opportunities and challenges of convergence between telecommunications, media, and computing.

The report also presents a framework of e-government applications and discusses various country experiences with the institutional and policy arrangements for e-government and for the development of the local information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services (ITES) industries. The common thread running through these topics is the development impact of ICT. Finally, the report presents summary tables on ICT sector indicators in 150 economies and introduces new performance measures in terms of access, affordability, and ICT adoption in government and business.

Impact of ICT in an Increasingly Knowledge-Based World

Knowledge-based activities have become increasingly important and pervasive worldwide. ICT is the foundation of this knowledge-based world. It allows economies to acquire and share ideas, expertise, services, and technologies locally, regionally, and across the world. It also contributes to making the global economy more integrated than ever before.

ICT can help create and sustain new opportunities for economic development. Accelerated knowledge transfer and technological diffusion amplify the competitive advantages of fast-learning economies. As the information requirements for innovation in economic and social activities increase, the importance of ICT for the development agenda will continue to expand.

Mobile Networks Now Constitute the World’s Largest Distribution Platform and Create a Major Development Opportunity

The past 15 years have brought an unprecedented increase in access to telephone services. This growth has been driven primarily by wireless technologies and liberalization of telecommunications markets, which enabled faster and less costly network rollout. The total number of mobile phones in the world surpassed the number of fixed telephones in 2002; by the end of 2008, there were an estimated 4 billion mobile phones globally (Wireless Intelligence 2008).

No technology has ever spread faster around the world (The Economist 2008). Mobile phones now represent the world’s largest distribution platform.

The mobile phone market is especially important for developing countries, where it is growing most rapidly and where it is seen as a “leapfrogging” tool. New telephone connections in low- and lower-middle-income countries have outnumbered those in upper-middle- and high-income countries since 1998 (World Bank 2008c). Virtually all new mobile customers in the coming years will be in developing countries (GSMA 2008).

Mobile communications have a particularly important impact in rural areas, which are home to nearly one-half of the world’s population and 75 percent of the world’s poor (World Bank 2007). The mobility, ease of use, flexible deployment, and relatively low and declining rollout costs of wireless technologies enable them to reach rural populations with low levels of income and literacy. The next billion mobile subscribers will consist mainly of the rural poor. Mobile operators are thus taking innovative approaches to reach rural customers, such as offering village phone programs in Bangladesh, low-denomination recharges for prepaid phones in East Africa, and combined voice and agricultural information services in China (The Economist 2008a).

An important use of mobile phones in rural areas is to access market information. TradeNet, a Ghana-based trading platform, allows users to sign up for short message service (SMS) alerts for commodities and markets of their choice and receive instant alerts for offers to buy or sell when anyone else on the network has submitted an offer by mobile phone. Users can also request and receive real-time prices for more than 80 commodities from 400 markets across West Africa.

The Ghana Agricultural Producers and Traders Organization is a major beneficiary: in 2006 it concluded trade deals worth $60,000 with other producer and trader organizations in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Nigeria. These deals involved purchasing tomatoes, onions, and potatoes without middlemen, thereby substantially reducing transaction costs between buyers and sellers (World Bank 2007). In India, access to market information through mobile phones has allowed fishermen to respond faster to market demand and has increased their profits (Jensen 2007); in Niger, it has reduced price disparities in grain markets (Aker 2008); by the end of 2008, there were an estimated 4 billion mobile phones globally (Wireless Intelligence 2008).

No technology has ever spread faster around the world (The Economist 2008a). Mobile phones now represent the world’s largest distribution platform.The mobile phone market is especially important for developing countries, where it is growing most rapidly and where it is seen as a “leapfrogging” tool. New telephone connections in low- and lower-middle-income countries have outnumbered those in upper-middle- and high-income countries since 1998 (World Bank 2008c).

Virtually all new mobile customers in the coming years will be in developing countries (GSMA 2008).Mobile communications have a particularly important impact in rural areas, which are home to nearly one-half of the world’s population and 75 percent of the world’s poor (World Bank 2007). The mobility, ease of use, flexible deployment, and relatively low and declining rollout costs of wireless technologies enable them to reach rural populations with low
levels of income and literacy.

The next billion mobile subscribers will consist mainly of the rural poor. Mobile operators are thus taking innovative approaches to reach rural customers, such as offering village phone programs in Bangladesh, low-denomination recharges for prepaid phones in East Africa, and combined voice and agricultural information services in China (The Economist 2008a).An important use of mobile phones in rural areas is to access market information. TradeNet, a Ghana-based trading platform, allows users to sign up for short message service (SMS) alerts for commodities and markets of their choice and receive instant alerts for offers to buy or sell when anyone else on the network has submitted an offer by mobile phone.

Users can also request and receive real-time prices for more than 80 commodities from 400 markets across West Africa. The Ghana Agricultural Producers and Traders Organization2is a major beneficiary: in 2006 it concluded trade deals worth $60,000 with other producer and trader organizations in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Nigeria. These deals involved purchasing tomatoes, onions, and potatoes without middlemen, thereby substantially reducing transaction costs between buyers and sellers (World Bank 2007).

In India, access to market information through mobile phones has allowed fishermen to respond faster to market demand and has increased their profits (Jensen 2007); in Niger, it has reduced price disparities in grain markets (Aker 2008).

For the rest visit the world bank website

Abhay N

Author : 

Abhay is the founder and managing editor of India Microfinance. He is passionate about microfinance, financial inclusion and social entrepreneurship in India.

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