New Zealand has been ranked sixth in a 134 country index of mobile connectivity compiled by mobile network operators association, the GSA, which represents almost 800 mobile network operators.
The top five countries were Australia, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The GSA measures connectivity on four parameters: infrastructure, affordability, consumer readiness, content.
New Zealand came in 12th on infrastructure, 18th on affordability, fifth on consumer readiness and fourth on content.
Affordability is measured on more than simply prices and incomes. GSA says it is also affected by the level of taxation as well as inequality: “If income distribution is skewed towards a small proportion of the population, the mobile internet will remain unaffordable for many people.”
Consumer readiness is a ranking of “Citizens with the awareness and skills needed to value and use the internet and a cultural environment that promotes gender equality.”
GSA says the index, its first, has been developed to support the efforts of the mobile industry to deliver on the ambition of universal access to the internet, and to “help focus the efforts and resources of the mobile industry and wider international community on the right projects in the right markets at the right time, so progress towards universal access can be as swift and economically sustainable as possible.”
It seeks to answer two key questions:
- What factors need to be in place to create the right conditions for supply and demand to flourish?
- How can countries at the beginning of the journey towards universal access benefit from the experience of those further along?