Cellular, broadband costs killing New Zealand competitiveness

New Zealand remains an also-ran in the World Economic Forum’s Networked Readiness Index thanks to being one of the most expensive countries for mobile phones.

For the second year in a row, the country ranks 20 overall on a list comparing 148 nations. New Zealand is two places behind Australia which is at 18, again the same as last year.

The index is a composite measure made up of a number of sub-indices.

New Zealand does astonishingly well in some sub-indices and just as badly in others. In almost every department the nation scores better than the average across the world’s richer nations.

The overall performance is wildly unbalanced with New Zealand ranking at 138 out of 148 nations when it comes to mobile phone affordability. And ranking at 113 place for the cost of fixed line broadband connections is nothing to email home about.

NZ regulation second to one

When it comes to the environment sub-index New Zealand has the second highest score behind Singapore.

Breaking that down further shows the nation political and regulatory score is the second highest, again behind Singapore.

New Zealand ranks six for its “business and innovation environment” index.

Infrastructure not so hot

The readiness subindex is made up of three categories: Infrastructure and digital content: affordability and skills. Across the three New Zealand ranks at 45, despite coming in a number six in the global table for skills and having a respectable rank of 12 for infrastructure. Both are badly let down by the shocking 127 place for ‘affordability’.

As the World Economic Forum’s commentary reports:

New Zealand ranks 1st for the independence of its judicial system and 1st in both the number of days and the number of procedures to start a business. The excellent skill base of its population (6th) also contributes to the country’s ability to properly use and leverage a fairly good ICT infrastructure, although it remains rather pricy (127th), constituting New Zealand’s main weakness.

The Networked Readiness Index provides a relative measure of a country’s ability to exploit information technology for economic growth and general well-being. Finland holds the top spot, while Singapore sits in second place. The USA is at seven while the UK is at nine.

Donload the full report.

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