ITU, through its World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators, is recognized as the main source of global, and internationally comparable ICT statistics. ITU data provide an invaluable snapshot of today's ICT landscape.
Around the world, ITU is recognized as the premier source of impartial and in-depth information in the area of telecommunication and ICT.
ITU-D's Market Information and Statistics (STAT) Division tracks some 80 ICT indicators annually, for around 200 economies worldwide. Data on mobile and fixed telephone networks, traffic, tariff, revenues, investments and Internet and broadband uptake are collected directly from telecommunication Ministries, regulatory authorities, operators and carriers. These data are used to track the Information Society, to identify trends and market opportunities and to help policy makers and investors to develop and evaluate their policy and business strategies
The ICT Eye website is the world's largest free-of-charge ICT information resource, providing a one stop-shop for ICT indicators and statistics, regulatory and policy profiles, national tariff policies, operator information, WSIS stocktaking, and contact details for a host of financial, scientific and development organizations.
In addition, a series of comprehensive regional and global reports track and analyze ongoing trends across the ICT industry. The Bureau's flagship publication, the World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report, is renowned for its impartiality and analytical breadth as well as the reliability of its extensive sets of indicators, covering everything from fixed lines networks to TV penetration and Internet access speeds and pricing.
The latest edition of Measuring the Information Society features the new ITU ICT Development Index. The Index captures the level of advancement of ICTs in more than 150 countries worldwide and compares progress made between 2002 and 2007. It also measures the global digital divide and examines how it has developed in recent years. The report also features a new ICT Price Basket, which combines fixed, mobile and broadband tariffs for 2008 into one measure and compares it across countries. The analytical report is complemented by a series of statistical tables providing country-level data for all indicators included in the Index.
Other well-known ITU-D products include the Yearbook of Statistics, and the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database which, through its time series data for 80 key indicators and some 200 economies dating all the way back to 1970, remains the most authoritative source of data tracking the evolution of the global telecommunication sector. ITU's Regional Telecommunication/ICT Indicators, which are prepared specially for ITU TELECOM events, include the analysis of regional trends and statistics. The latest reports published cover Indicators for the Africa,Asia-Pacific and Americas regions.
To measure the Information Society and track the digital divide, ITU plays an important role in guiding countries in their data collection efforts by providing guidelines and definitions. This includes the ITU Indicators Handbook, a list of over 110 indicators and definitions.
Towards international comparability
Reliable, harmonized and internationally comparable data and benchmarking are indispensable to measure the progress of the Information Society and to track the digital divide. That is why ITU, together with the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, has developed a core list of ICT indicators that all countries are encouraged to collect. The Partnership, which is a group of 10 international and regional organizations and includes ITU, OECD, UNCTAD and the World Bank, also provides guidelines, definitions and methodological assistance to developing countries.