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2017 Digital Connectivity Index: Spotlight on Tomorrow’s Most Connected Consumers

November 2017

The developed world has some of the world’s most digitally connected markets, providing immense opportunities in new-age applications such as digital commerce and the Internet of Things. Leveraging the 2017 Digital Connectivity Index, this briefing will explore the future digital landscape, and investment opportunities in key markets such as South Korea, the US and Australia. However, concerns surrounding online privacy and ageing populations need to be addressed by authorities.

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The developed world leads in digital penetration but emerging markets are catching up

Developed nations have the highest digital connectivity in terms of both fixed and mobile broadband penetration. These nations have historically enjoyed robust fixed-line networks which enabled wider digital coverage. On the other hand, mobile is helping emerging nations bridge the digital gap.

East Asia, Australia and Scandinavia score highest in digital connectivity

Countries such as South Korea, Australia and Denmark provide their consumers with the greatest access to high-speed fixed and mobile broadband. Among emerging nations, China is a trendsetter with regard to mobile uptake.

Digital commerce and IoT will provide the biggest growth opportunities

High 4G and smartphone penetration are driving digital transactions. The US is the leader in digital commerce. Development of the IoT ecosystem will drive demand for a host of connected devices, thereby enhancing business opportunities.

Connected markets face online privacy concerns, ageing populations and device saturation

Online privacy is a major concern in the world’s connected markets such as Japan and Germany. Sales of digital devices are also declining in the connected world, as these markets become increasingly saturated. Businesses also face the problem of reaching ageing consumers in these countries.

Portugal, Germany and the US present key investment opportunities

The US and Portugal have relatively lower fixed broadband penetration than a number of connected markets. Investment opportunities will come up due to both countries’ focus on expanding fibre networks in rural areas. Rising data demand and advanced LTE services make the German market lucrative.


Scope of the Digital Consumer
Key findings

Developed World Exhibits Greater Connectivity

Degree and type of connection varies across markets
Narrowing digital gap between developed and emerging nations
East Asia, Australia and Scandinavia are global digital leaders
South Korea is the most connected nation in the world
The US is a market leader in terms of communications spend

Spotlights on the Most Connected Markets

1. Australia’s mobile market facilitates global digital leadership
2 . South Korea aims for faster deployment of 5G
3 . Competition drives Swiss fixed-broadband leadership
4 . Danish telecom flourishes despite market saturation
5 . Hong Kong poised to make greatest digital gains
6 . Netherlands nearing total next-generation broadband access
7 . UAE is the digital leader of Middle East and Africa
8 . Fibre-optic investments fuel French digital development
9 . Low competition, an issue in Norway’s advanced telecom sector
10. UK digital sector relies on next-generation services for growth
11. National Broadband Strategy sets Sweden’s digital future
12. Mobile dominates the US digital landscape
13. Digital Belgium sets the framework for ultrafast internet
14. Economic recovery drives Portuguese digital investments
15. Market saturation affects competitive Singapore telecom

Digital Prospects for Connected Markets

Despite challenges, connected markets will drive digital progress
Challenges: Connected markets face device saturation
Challenges: Online privacy concerns hinder digital connectivity
Challenges: Connected markets face ageing populations
Opportunities: South Korea and Australia are digital commerce hubs
Opportunities: IoT will be key in connected devices’ coverage
Key markets focus on next-generation networks, smart tech


Methodology for the Digital Consumer Index
Methodology for the Digital Consumer Index (cont/d)
Changes to the 2017 edition of the Digital Consumer Index
2017 Digital Connectivity Index (1)
2017 Digital Connectivity Index (2)
2017 Digital Connectivity Index (3)
2017 Digital Connectivity Index (4)
Data parameters and report definitions (1)
Data parameters and report definitions (2)


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