The indicators used to measure the ITU ICT Development Index (IDI) have been reviewed.
At a joint Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the Expert Group on Telecommunication/ICT Indicators (EGTI) and the Expert Group on ICT Household Indicators (EGH) held in Geneva from 1-3 March 2017, five new indicators were approved while some of the current indicators were either dropped or maintained.
The five new indicators include: percentage of the population covered by mobile networks (at least 3G and at least LTE/WiMax); mobile-broadband Internet traffic per mobile-broadband subscription; fixed-broadband Internet traffic per fixed-broadband subscription; percentage of individuals who own a mobile phone, and proportion of individuals with ICT skills.
The indicators dropped were: fixed-telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants and mobile-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.
At the meeting, the experts agreed that the IDI based on the revised and new indicators will be published in 2018 to provide sufficient time to undertake statistical tests and to give countries time to gather and submit data, particularly with regards to the new indicators.
The ICT Development Index (IDI), which has been published annually by ITU since 2009, is used to monitor countries' developments in information and communication technology (ICT) over time.
"Our indicators on which the ICT Development Index (IDI) is based are the most authoritative in the world," said Mr Brahima Sanou. "ITU is providing a unique source of trustful data and statistics to all stakeholders and players in the telecommunication/ICT sector and all other sectors of the economy. As technologies advance and more data become available, it is important that the index is regularly updated to make sure it takes into account emerging ICT developments in both developed and developing countries."
A total of 71 participants attended the meeting composed of experts from regulators, telecommunication operators, ministries, national research organizations and national statistical offices, as well as ITU-D sector members and regional telecommunication organizations.
The Expert Group on Telecommunication/ICT Indicators (EGTI) was created in May 2009 with the mandate to revise the list of ITU supply-side indicators (i.e. data collected from operators), as well as to discuss emerging methodological issues and new indicators.
The Expert Group on ICT Household Indicators (EGH) was established in May 2012 to review the statistical indicators for measuring ICT access and use by households and individuals.