Indicators of Information and Communication Technology

Indicators of Information and Communication Technology

Gulnara Abdrakhmanova (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia), Leonid Gokhberg (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia) and Alexander Sokolov (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7368-5.ch062

Abstract

Information and communication technology (ICT) has become a major driver of changes in economic, social, public, and private life, leading to emergence of the information society and digital economy. Identification of key trends and analysis of transformation processes can only be made on the basis of reliable statistical data. Development of relevant international statistics plays a leading role here; hence, via establishing and updating relevant standards, it allows to measure development of the information society in a global scale, and benchmark positions of individual countries in the worldwide economic environment. ICT indicators are based on general (definitions and classifications, similar data collection methodologies) and specialized statistical standards, whereas harmonized methodology provides highly compatible indicators for different countries. The objective of this chapter is to present a systemic overview of internationally accepted definitions of main ICT indicators based on accumulated methodological standards and practical experience.
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Background

An Information Society is usually understood as a society that makes extensive use of information networks and technologies, produces large quantities of ICT goods and services, and has a diversified content industry. Both theoretical and practical issues related to measuring different aspect of Information Society has been increasingly addressed by many authors during the last 20 years (see for example Blank, Groselj [2014]; Dolničar et al. [2014]; Billon et al. [2016]). The key three thematic “pillars” related to the Information Society are as follows (Figure 1):

  • ICT Sector and the Supply of ICT: Which industries it includes, how important they are for the national economy, how many enterprises are involved and how many persons are employed, which types of products and services are produced, and what is the total turnover?

  • Technical Infrastructure: Including the penetration rates of landline and mobile telephone networks, the number of computers per inhabitant and the number of Internet connections (whether or not a country is ready to become an information-based society).

  • ICT Demand: Which enterprises and individuals are using ICT products and services? Which technologies are being used, and why? What barriers hamper a country’s integration in the global Information Society?

Figure 1.

The Conceptual Model of the Information Society

978-1-5225-7368-5.ch062.f01
Source: [Gokhberg and Bшegh-Nielsen, 2007].

Despite the fact that the Information Society Statistics is a relatively new area, international organisations have already adopted a set of harmonized measurement standards and allied indicators, and put together the necessary methodological foundations. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development (Partnership) play the leading role in this effort (Table 1).

Table 1.
Existing International standards for ICT statistics
Area covered by standardsReferences
ICT supply
  The ICT sector and content and media sector definition by economic activity in accordance with international classifications OECD, 2011
UNCTAD, 2009
  The ICT product definition by goods and services in accordance with international classifications (CPC, HS) OECD, 2011
UNCTAD, 2009
  Core list of ICT sector and trade in ICT goods indicatorsPartnership, 2016
ICT infrastructure
  ITU Telecommunications/ICT Indicators ITU, 2014
OECD, UNCTAD
  Core list of ICT infrastructure and access indicatorsPartnership, 2016
ICT demand
  ICT usage by businesses (enterprises) surveyEurostat, 2016a
OECD, 2015
UNCTAD, 2009
  Core list of ICT access and use by enterprises indicatorsPartnership, 2016
  ICT access and usage by households and individuals surveyEurostat, 2016a
OECD, 2015
ITU, 2014
  Core list of ICT access and use by households and individuals indicatorsPartnership, 2016

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