S Korea titled 8th in high-tech rankings

South Korea was titled 8th most tech-savvy country, becoming the only Asia-Pacific country to enter into the top-10.

According to the Information Society Index (ISI) from the US-based consulting firm IDC, Korea was placed in eighth place with 904 points, up four ranks compared to last year.

The annual measurement combines 15 variables into four columns to calculate the ability of 53 countries to access and absorb information, and information technologies. The four biggest areas include Internet, telecom and social infrastructures and computers.

Other factors that are considered are the use of computers and web-based services, e-commerce, high speed and wireless subscribers, and education level.

This year Denmark was placed first with 963 points, topping three-time consecutive champion Sweden that came in with 958 points. The U.S was third with 938 points, followed by Switzerland with 929, Canada with 925, and Netherlands with 919 points and Finland with 911 points.

In the Asia region, Korea was the only nation to claim a spot in the top 10. Hong Kong, and Australia were a close 11th and 12th, and Japan and Taiwan coming in at 18th and 20th place respectively.

Out of the four columns for the ISI, telecom and Internet developments have propelled Korea into the upper ranks of the table with the nation placing first and fifth in the two categories.

Korea has the world`s best high-speed Internet penetration ratio, with 11 million homes connected via broadband. Mobile phone subscribers have also reached 36 million, a whopping 75% of a 46 million population.

(Korea Herald 2004-11-8)