Information and Communication Technology in Asia and the Pacific: 12 Things to Know

Article | 17 August 2012

Rapid advances in information and communications technology (ICT) have created tremendous opportunities for economic and social gains in the world's poorest areas.

  1. The world is home to 7 billion people, one third of which are using the Internet. 45% of the world's Internet users are below the age of 25.
    Source: International Telecommunication Union. 2011. World Facts and Figures 2011
  2. A 2009 World Bank report found that for every 10 percent increase in high speed internet connections, there is a 1.3 percent increase in economic growth. The impact of information and communications technologies (ICTs) is also seen in their creative and cost-efficient use in sectors such as education, health, and agriculture, among others.
    Source: Information and Communications for Development. 2009. Information and Communications for Development 2009: Extending Reach and Increasing Impact
  3. Internet users in the People's Republic of China represent almost 25% of the world's total.
    Source: Information and Communications for Development. 2009. Information and Communications for Development 2009: Extending Reach and Increasing Impact
  4. Before 2007, Papua New Guinea had fixed-line communications of around just 1% and mobile penetration of less than 5%. A recent $25 million ADB loan to fund the construction of mobile phone towers is expected to change all that.
  5. With some 6-billion mobile subscriptions in use worldwide, around three-quarter of the world's inhabitants now have access to a mobile phone.
    Source: Information and Communications for Development. 2012. IC4D 2012: Maximizing Mobile
  6. Growth in mobile telephony is driven by developing countries, which accounted for more than 80% of the 660 million new subscriptions added in 2011.
    Source: Information and Communications for Development. 2014. ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database
  7. The world's top broadband economies are from Europe and Asia and the Pacific. In the Republic of Korea, mobile-broadband penetration exceeds 90%.
    Source: International Telecommunication Union. 2011. World Facts and Figures 2011
  8. Tonga is the first Pacific country to liberalize its telecommunications sector. Mobile teledensity, at 60%, is among the highest in the region; and local and international call tariffs are among the lowest in the Pacific.
    Source: ADB. 2011. Tonga-Fiji Submarine Cable Project
  9. By end 2011, only 20% of households in developing countries had Internet access, with the exception of Lebanon and Malaysia with 62% and 61% of households with Internet, respectively.
    Source: Information and Communications for Development. 2014. ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database
  10. In developing countries, while the number of Internet users doubled between 2007 and 2011, only a quarter of inhabitants were online by end 2011.
    Source: Information and Communications for Development. 2014. ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database
  11. ADB assistance to Grameen Telecom has helped provide mobility and connectivity to more than 23 million subscribers in Bangladesh - and changed their lives.
    Source: ADB. 2010. Bangladesh: A Mobile Revolution
  12. Between 2000 and 2011, ADB supported 374 ICT-related projects and technical assistance worth $13.22 billion.
    Source: Information and Communication Technology