Hyper-connected Japan and South Korea were ranked on top in Asia but they were trumped by Germany and the US in a new ‘connectivity index’ released by Huawei.

The Chinese vendor created the global connectivity index (GCI) – following Cisco’s lead in coming up with the visual networking index a few years back – as a measure of which countries, and industries, are getting the most from ICT.

Huawei examined 25 countries, representing 68 per cent of the global population, at varying stages of development by looking at 16 indicators across two dimensions: current connectivity and growth momentum.

The index also is based on a survey of more than 1,000 decision-makers from ten different industries about their concerns, priorities and plans for investment in ICT, as well as the benefits their companies have seen from it in terms of innovation, efficiency and customer engagement.

The company says the aggregate score can be considered a relative measure of how much effort has or will be put into making broadband access ubiquitous.

Germany was the overall winner with a score of 76, topping global broadband leaders such as South Korea and Japan. Germany had high ratings for high broadband penetration and fast speeds, a well as affordable mobile broadband.

The US was second with the same score, followed by the UK with a 75.

Chile was a surprise at fourth place, with a 74. It got high marks for affordable fixed broadband and a strong growth forecast through 2018. The report said “Chilecon Valley” is already emerging as a technological hub in Latin America. It got points off for low smartphone penetration and app downloads.

Japan was ranked fifth followed by South Korea. Both had a score of 70 and were noted for their fast and affordable fixed broadband but face slow mobile broadband subscriber growth since the markets are fully saturated. South Korea got high marks for its 100 per cent mobile broadband penetration.

China, with a score of 60, was 14th, receiving high marks for its strong investment in telecoms, which includes new 4G networks, and 20 per cent annual growth in ICT consumption. The country also has high smartphone penetration and affordable fixed broadband. On the downside, mobile broadband prices could be lower and international bandwidth per user is low.

India was certainly a surprise coming in at 15th with 58 points (just one place/two points behind China) and ahead of Malaysia (16th) as well as the Philippines (22nd) and Indonesia (23rd).

The county of 880 million mobile connections was recognised for strong growth in mobile broadband and smartphone connections as well as affordable mobile broadband. The challenges are low international bandwidth per user and mobile broadband penetration, and slow broadband speeds.

Malaysia’s rapid broadband subscriber growth over the past couple of years gave it 57 points. Its challenges include slow broadband speeds, and low smartphone connections and app downloads.

The Philippines, with 47 points, was noted for its affordable mobile broadband and strong fixed broadband growth, but mobile broadband penetration is low and it lacks a coherent national broadband plan.

Indonesia had 44 points and its key strength was growth in fixed broadband. It faces a number of challenges including slow broadband speeds, high mobile broadband rates and low international bandwidth per user.