Telecommunications Company Ericsson has released its latest report on Networked Society City Index that ranks 40 cities and measures their ICT maturity depending on the contribution ICT has on economic, social and environmental development.
In this year’s report, Nigeria’s popular city Lagos and South Africa’s Johannesburg have again received a mention in the ranking as top cities acting as an example for cities using new mobile technologies to enable a connected life even in the absence of high-end fixed infrastructure.
Cities with low ICT maturity are in the front lane towards improving ICT maturity, moving at a faster rate than cities with well-developed infrastructure and therefore showing the need for cities to adopt advanced mobile technologies instead of the expensive physical infrastructure.
As smartphone penetration keeps growing across African countries, with South Africa taking the number one spot, followed by Nigeria and Kenya respectively, it is reasonable that cities are promoting the use of advanced innovative applications made possible by mobile technology.
While use of mobile solutions is the answer developing countries are looking for, Ericsson reports that the limited access to mobile and fixed broadband due to their expensive nature remains a challenge for most cities.
“Cities will be the major arena in which ICT can bring solutions for economic, social and sustainable growth,” said Patrik Regardh, Head of Ecrisson’s Networked Society Lab.
Patrik said the company was working in collaboration with institutions and agencies including the UN to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities.
Also in the report, Ericsson has made predictions for how cities will be in the future as influenced by new technology and ICT solutions and applications, including a redefined GDP, smart citizens and the power of collaboration necessitating for changes in legislation and governance.
Countries seeking to improve economic competitiveness across their cities and organisations are advised to consider investing in solutions that are location independent, such as teleworking, telecommuting, and video conferencing as well as incorporating electronic systems in all operations.
Ericsson will be taking people on a journey around the future of the Networked Society at the AfricaCom awards taking place in Cape Town, South Africa.