Showing posts with label ICT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ICT. Show all posts

Friday, 13 February 2015

Jamaica's Fledgling ICT Sector

Information Communication Technology - or Technologies, It is commonly known as ICT. The initials are often thought to encompass computers and technology. However, in simple terms, ICT facilitates access to information using various communication technologies.

Technopedia, defines ICT - "refers to all the technology used to handle telecommunications, broadcast media, intelligent business management systems, audiovisual processing and transmission systems, and network-based control and monitoring functions."

Visual representation of ICT. Source of image: newtelegraghonline

ICT adoption has significantly grown over the years, with little signs of slowing abating. In fact, Ericsson mobility report is predicting a 12-fold growth between 2012 and 2018. The article entitled Trends in the ICT sector, went on to state, and I quote " This ICT expansion helps economic growth and development, and makes the world a more accessible, open and democratic place."

The expression by Ericsson is not dissimilar to World Bank's take on the ICT Sector. The World Bank suggests that ICT is changing the makeup of the world economy, governments and the society at large. Additionally, the World Bank evince that for every 10 per cent increase in high speed Internet connections, a 1.4 per cent increase in economic growth follows on average.

Jamaica's Emerging ICT Sector

Following the phased liberalization of the telecommunications sector in Jamaica, as expressed in my blog post entitled The Liberalization Of Jamaica's Telecommunications Industry; Impact On The Jamaican Economy And Communications, mobile penetration grew exponentially. The aforementioned rate is estimated to exceed 100 per cent, coming from a low of under 10 per cent before liberalization. However, this rate of growth was not replicated with Internet penetration. A 2013 estimate by the World Bank, suggests that just over a third of Jamaica's population has accessible Internet. Indicating that significant room for growth remains.

However, significant smart phone take up has transformed the means of communications to the Jamaican public. This was evident by Digicel Jamaica's November smart phone sales, available in the news release entitled Digicel Has Sold 60, 000 Smartphones Since November. With greater smart phone adoption, communicating via social media has become effortless and affordable. Additionally, businesses may easily access customer demands through social media platforms.

A commendable step taken by the government of Jamaica, is the recent launch of the tablet in schools program. It is a joint program by the ministry of education, and ministry of science, technology, energy and mining. The aim of the program is to facilitate robust ICT, and greater levels of economic growth. Under the tablet in schools program, approximately 25 000 tablets should be deployed at an estimated cost of J $1.4 billion.

Additionally, the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector has grown markedly since liberalization. Furthermore, Jamaica's Relatively low labour cost and high unemployment rate, makes Jamaica an attractive BPO destination. This is borne out by the approximately 40 BPO firms, employing in excess of 14 000 Jamaicans.

Buoyed by signicant investments in telecommunications and BPO, ICT should continue to facilitate existing and new means of communication by the public. This should allow for greater tech startups, and higher, more equitable GDP growth.

Thanks for stopping by!


Information & Communication Technologies Overview, World Bank.

Jamaica Tablet Program For Schools, Addictootech.

BPO Offers Good Jobs, Jamaica Trade and Invest.

Internet Users, World Bank.