Developed nations account for a major share of global digital consumption helped by network investments and tech-savvy consumers. Countries such as the US and South Korea are the leaders in digital connectivity. However, economic turmoil over the past few years has impeded digital development in key markets. As economic recovery takes hold, developed markets will provide opportunities in 5G and Internet of Things (IoT). Ageing populations and online privacy pose challenges for faster digital upt
Out of 15 developed markets covered in this briefing, South Korea and the US stand out in terms of their digital infrastructure and penetration of telecom services. While both high-speed mobile and fixed broadband are nearly ubiquitous in South Korea, the US is particularly strong in mobile connectivity which has fuelled fast growth in digital commerce.
The developed world has suffered a prolonged period of economic uncertainty. Spain and Italy were the hardest hit by the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis and this led to a sharp fall in digital investments and consumption. Both countries figured at the bottom of the Digital Connectivity Index in 2015 and their ranks will remain the same through to 2020 despite faster economic growth.
A number of developed markets, notably South Korea and the US, are investing to build an Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem with the help of smartphones and other connected devices. Moreover, digital commerce, both remote and proximity, provide immense growth avenues in developed markets.
The US will remain one of the most important digital growth drivers in the developed world because of its size and focus on fixed broadband connectivity. Fibre optics and 4G LTE will fuel growth in Israel. Australia and Germany are the other important markets investors should focus on.
Despite the digital growth opportunities offered by developed markets, there remain certain key challenges. Across markets, the population is ageing and online privacy concerns pose challenges for faster uptake of advanced digital services. Saturation of the devices market is another challenge businesses are grappling with.
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