LIVE FROM HUAWEI ANALYST SUMMIT 2016, SHENZHEN: Huawei said that improvements have been seen globally in terms of national and economic digitisation, with William Xu, the company’s chief strategy market officer, stating that ICT infrastructure is “the engine for a country’s economic transformation”.

Introducing the company’s 2016 Global Connectivity Index (GCI), the executive identified countries falling into three groups: ‘starters’, such as Indonesia and Kenya; ‘adopters’, such as China and South Africa; and ‘frontrunners’, such as the USA, Singapore, and the UK.

For the starters, the key priority is building supply and coverage of connectivity, deploying data centres, and adding accessible content. “Government in these countries need to regard ICT construction as the first priority,” Xu said.

Following from this, the adopters need to “focus on the application of ICT technologies, focusing on cloud computing and building high-speed broadband networks so they can converge the real economy and digital economy”.

Finally, frontrunners need to focus on improving efficiency and operations, “so they can effectively utilise and consolidate their resources to develop their society in a more effective and smart way,” he continued.

Huawei said that GCI scores continue to show a positive correlation with GDP, while noting that “the extent to which GCI influences GDP varies with the stage of digital transformation in each country”.

Big gainers from last year’s report included Malaysia, which climbed four places (to 25th) and Indonesia (up two places to 41st). In both cases, this was attributed to broadband rollout, which in turn influences data centre development – which in turn lay the foundation for three key enablers (cloud, IoT and big data).

The 50 countries assessed in the index account for 90 per cent of global GDP and 78 per cent of the world’s population.