Four words can be said to summarize contemporary society: sustained exponential technological progress. Technology advances with giant steps:  4G will give way to 5G; in 2020, drones will fill the skies and objects will be more connected than ever. Countries around the world will compete to see which is the most digital and innovative, a race in which the Nordic nations have taken an early lead.

The 28 member states of the European Union were evaluated, one by one, in order to analyze their degree of digitization. The European Commission published the results in a report entitled The Digital Society and Economy Index (DESI) in 2017. Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the Low Countries have gotten the best results, followed by Belgium, Estonia and Luxembourg. The ones that did not pass muster are Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania.

desi-composite.png

The most technological skills

As for human capital, the people who are most digitally oriented, with the capacity to meet the challenges that the new technologies present, are the Finns.  The fact is, technological advances have obliged people to become trained in digital technology; some studies predict that the impact of artificial intelligence and other technologies will be such that, nearly two million jobs will be in danger. But no one should panic, because jobs are not created or destroyed, just transformed en ENG, so countries are still in time to to provide the best technological training for their citizens

The most connected

This parameter measures the rollout of broadband infrastructure, as well as its quality. Holland is the best-connected country –  unlike Croatia, which still has a long way to go in connectivity. The good news in the report is that fixed broadband is available to 98% of Europeans, and 76% can access it at a speed of at least 30 Mbps. Also, 84% of the European population has access to 4G networks.

The Open Signal company, which measures coverage and performance among mobile operators around the world, in November 2016 published a report on the global 4G-penetration rate.  In the lead were South Korea (with a 96% penetration rate), Japan (92%), Lithuania (85%) and Hong Kong (84%), with Holland (84%) in fifth place.

Internet usage

The Danes are the people who spend the most time online. The percentage of users on the network has increased considerably in the past two years: 70% read the news online, 39% make digital phone calls, 63% use social media and 59% make purchases and do their banking online. Denmark is also a leader in the category of integration of digital technology, which focuses on the implementation of digitization processes in business.

The percentage of users on the network has increased considerably in the past two years: 70% read the news online, 39% make digital phone calls, 63% use social media and 59% make purchases and do their banking online

On a more global scale, the ITU (International Telecommunications Union), a specialized U.N. Agency for information technology, each year publishes a report on the global connection situation, which includes some very revealing data. The developing countries win as regards the number of Internet users, with more than 2.5 billion, compared to the 1 billion in the most developed nations. As for the Internet penetration rate, the developed countries continue to dominate in number, with 81%, while the developing countries have 40% and the Least Developed Countries, 15%.

Digital public services 

Estonia is the leading country in eGovernment, or electronic government, which entails the implementation of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) in the internal processes of government. Spain is also one of the most advanced countries in this area, with its Law for Common Administrative Procedure (Law 39/2015) which obliges “some subjects to carry out their relationship with the Public Administration through electronic media.”

Explore more…

BBVA Compass logo in Houston

Beyond Europe, the World Economic Forum publishes a list of the countries with the greatest degree of NRI, or Networked Readiness Index, which could be translated as the degree of preparation of the network. In 2016, the country most prepared in the digital environment was Singapore; no wonder some people call it Smart Nation. The country has apps for everything: for staying healthy 365 days as year, for first aid, for geo-historical maps with photographs of Singapore, for receiving government newsletters, or for reporting on municipal affairs.

Contact: Communications

You may be interested in these stories

Did you enjoy what you read? Read more on