Global variation in Internet provision

Visit the web site of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) (www.itu.int/ti/industryoverview/index.htm). Choose Internet indicators. This presents data on Internet and PC penetration in over 200 countries. A summary of the indicators for different continents is presented in Figure 2.15.

Questions

1 Find your country and compare the number of PCs per hundred population and percentage Internet access compared with other countries in your region and on a global basis.

2 Now attempt to explain reasons for the disparity between your country and other countries.

3 Can you see your country equalling or exceeding the USA in terms of these indicators?

Note that PCs are recorded as PCs per hundred population. This figure may be skewed in developed countries by people with more than one PC (e.g. at home and at work).

Global Variation

Figure 2.15 Global variation in number of PCs per hundred population and percentage Internet access in 2004

Source: ITU (www.itu.int)

Figure 2.15 Global variation in number of PCs per hundred population and percentage Internet access in 2004

Source: ITU (www.itu.int)

An additional factor relating to consumer Internet usage is the type of Internet access. Some countries now have significant levels of high-speed, always-on, broadband access. For example, in the UK, over a quarter of households have broadband access (which exceeds dial-up access) and in South Korea over three-quarters of households have it. Broadband access permits more sophisticated sites and streaming media such as music and video. Usage of the Internet also tends to increase because of the 'always-on' connection.

Other digital access platforms

Although we focus on Internet usage in this book, technology offerings for consumers are in constant flux, so e-marketers need to assess how well new technologies fulfil their objectives. Already, interactive digital TV and mobile Internet access are used by more people than the web (Figure 2.16). These technologies are studied in more detail in Chapter 3.

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