Japan’s government planning, investment in research and development, and sophisticated consumers have given to its rapid adaptation of the latest ICT, the survey said. It also took note of Japan’s high level of mobile communications access, with 96 percent of households owning a mobile phone in 2015.
Japan is an ICT leader, not only in terms of developing, piloting and adopting the latest technologies but also as an active participant in international standards-setting bodies. Japan beat Iceland for cellphone subscriptions and mobile broadband usage but scored lower on the percentage of households with computers and fixed broadband subscriptions.
Despite the region’s increasing potential to stand as the leader of the digital economy, there are significant gaps between leading ICT countries and those lagging behind, the survey said.
There is a gender gap in internet usage is particularly serious in the least-developed countries, as only 1 in 7 women were using the internet compared with 1 in 5 men. The gap was relatively small in developed economies, where more than 80 % of the population is estimated to be online.
Africa remains the only region where the gender gap is still broadening, although internet access rates in the region have grown. This suggests the increase was predominantly driven by men.
The next-generation ICTs, such as the internet of things, big data, and cloud computing and artificial intelligence will enable people to find new opportunities in business, government, and society. Countries will need to create conditions supportive of the deployment of a next-generation network and service infrastructures to benefit current advances.