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Since March 2020 COVID-19 has continued to dominate headlines throughout 2020 until now. Unpredictable developments and massive spread have made many countries panic in the face of this pandemic. As a result, social distancing and lockdown have become the choice of many countries in the Asia Pacific region. Working from home is becoming a mandatory option for many companies to stay afloat. Information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure support is predicted to be a sustainable trend towards digital transformation for society.
With telecommunications developments based on the 2017 World Conference (WTDC-17), ICT continues to spread. ITU data shows that in 2019, internet usage exceeded 50 percent (51.4 percent globally at the end of 2019), 75 percent of the world’s total population had active mobile broadband subscriptions and continued to use broadband services which continued to grow to more than 15 percent.
Digital Transformation Grows Fast in the Asia Pacific
Currently in the Asia Pacific region, there are more than 57 percent of households have Internet access at home. Moreover, given the increase in data demand for bandwidth-intensive services, international bandwidth has, on average, grown above its annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36 percent between 2017 and 2020, with a CAGR for international bandwidth per Internet user of 26 percent between 2017 and 2020. 2019.
To date, almost all of the world’s urban areas are covered by mobile broadband networks, many surviving in rural areas. The gender gap does have an effect on trends in digital technology use, with fewer men than men benefiting from Internet use.
The Asia-Pacific Region6 has a population of 4.2 billion and 38 Member States, including 14 classified as SIDS and 11 classified as LDCs. It is one of the most diverse regions in the world and home to an economy that is at the top of the digital economy and worldwide social development and is also a global leader in Internet access and usage including high.
At the same time, the region is very diverse in terms of the income distribution, population size, and geographical features of the country, from the rugged mountainous regions of the Himalayas to the islands of the Pacific. This data includes some of the most populous countries in the world, such as China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and some of the smallest countries in the world, particularly SIDS in the Pacific with a population of less than 12,000.
Different Countries’ ICT Absorption Based on Economic Conditions
ICT uptake differs markedly among economies in the Asia Pacific region, where Internet usage rates range from 90 percent in developed countries to less than 15 percent in the region’s least developed economies.
Over the past four years, the region has continued to experience growth in most areas of ICT infrastructure, access, and use. Cellular coverage in Asia and the Pacific, referring to the percentage of the population living within cellular coverage, is estimated by the ITU to be close to 100 percent. More than 96.1 percent are now within the coverage of 3G networks, and 94.2 percent are within the range of long-term evolutionary mobile broadband (LTE) signals.
This data research concludes that just a decade ago, in 2011, some countries in the region, such as Myanmar, did not have 3G or 4G infrastructure. Currently, 94.1 percent of Myanmar’s population is in 3G signal coverage and 75 percent is within LTE broadband signal coverage, with 92.7 active mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 residents.
The percentage of individuals using the Internet continues to rise
The pandemic caused the percentage of individuals using the Internet to increase from 38.6 percent in 2017 to 44.5 percent at the end of 2019, with households with Internet access at home increasing from 47.9 percent in 2017 to 53.4 percent at the end of 2019. Both fixed and mobile broadband have shown growth over the past four years, with active mobile broadband subscriptions exceeding fixed broadband subscriptions.
The gender gap is significant and in addition to rural/urban persists, however. In 2019, only 41.3 percent of women used the Internet, compared to 48.3 percent of men. In addition, only 37 percent of rural households had access to the Internet in 2019, compared to nearly double this figure (70.4 percent) of urban households. In the 15 to24 year age group there is 70.3 percent used the Internet in 2019, similar to the world average of 69 percent.