Digital Technology in Telecommunications
ADB support for telecommunications and digital technology is changing lives across the region. Farmers and fisher folk receive timely weather forecasts through their mobile phones, remote village schools connect to educational resources through internet -enabled computer labs, and citizens transact with their governments more efficiently through online systems. ADB is also helping to expand telecommunication networks, provide shared digital technology access facilities like Community e-Centers (CeCs), and develop innovative and relevant digital technology applications.
Telecommunications is now considered an infrastructure essential to a country’s economic development and competitiveness. Apart from facilitating communication and various economic activities, telecommunications is an economic sector in itself. The mobile phone boom worldwide has created jobs and generated income for the government, operators, manufacturers, service providers, and application/content developers. In developing countries, mobile phones serve as the universal access tool, especially for their low-income populations.
ICT, which includes computers, software applications, and the internet, are benefiting countries and their citizens. 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 ICTs is also seen in their creative and cost-efficient use in basic sectors, such as education, health, and agriculture, among others.
|Pacific Information and Communication Technology Investment Planning and Capacity Development Facility||This technical assistance (TA) will make complementary support available to Pacific countries to overcome fundamental barriers to ICT development and make strategic decisions on ICT investment. Approved in 2013, it aims to achieve enhanced government capacity and leadership in ICT development in selected Pacific DMCs through (i) demand-driven ICT technical advice, assessment, and capacity development; and (ii) knowledge products on ICT development experience.|
AEIR 2021’s theme chapter analyzes the rise, opportunities, and challenges of digital platforms in the Asia and Pacific region, including their applications in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.