The GCI was created to analyze a broad spectrum of indicators for ICT Infrastructure and digital transformation to provide a comprehensive map of the global digital economy. The annual index was launched in 2014.

The index benchmark's 79 countries according to their performance in 40 indicators that track the impact of ICT on a nation’s economy, digital competitiveness and future growth. Combined, these countries account for 95 percent of global GDP.

The GCI is a unique quantitative assessment that comprehensively and objectively evaluates connectivity from both a national and industrial perspective. The research framework covers a combination of advanced and fundamental technologies, enabling analysis of how yesterday, today and tomorrow intersect to help map the global digital economy.

The Four Pillars: SDEP
There are four pillars of the GCI Index: Supply, Demand, Experience and Potential. These encompass the entire chain of ICT development and Digital Transformation to provide a 360-degree view of the digital economy.
The Four Technology Enablers
In GCI 2019, two other notable changes in the methodology were made: merging the Data Centers perimeter into Cloud and incorporating Big Data into the newly created AI perimeter. The new AI perimeter includes: Data creation, AI Investment, AI-enabled robotics, and AI potential. While the research methodology expanded in 2019, we also did some consolidation. Intelligent Connectivity’s five enabling technologies were consolidated into four: Broadband, Cloud, IoT and AI.
The 40 Indicators
The 40 indicators can be analyzed both vertically (Supply, Demand, Experience and Potential) and horizontally (Broadband, Cloud, IoT and AI).
Four Pillars
Measures current levels of supply for ICT products and services used for digital transformation.
  • ICT Investment
  • Telecom Investment
  • ICT Laws
  • International Internet Bandwidth
  • Security Software Investment
  • Fiber Optic
  • 4G Connections
  • Cloud Investment
  • IoT Investment
  • AI Investment
Gauges demand for connectivity in the context of users and activities relating to digital transformation initiatives.
  • App Downloads
  • Smartphone Penetration
  • eCommerce Transactions
  • Computer Households
  • Secure Internet Servers
  • Fixed Broadband Subscriptions
  • Mobile Broadband Subscriptions
  • Cloud Migration
  • IoT Installed Base
  • AI-enabled Robotics
Comproses variables for analyzing the experience of connectivity for end users and organizations in today's digital economy.
  • E-Government Services
  • Telecom Customer Services
  • Internet Participation
  • Broadband Download Speed
  • Cybersecurity Awareness
  • Fixed Broadband Affordability
  • Mobile Broadband Affordability
  • Cloud Experience
  • IoT Analytics
  • Data Creation
Comprises a forward looking set of indicators that point towards the future development of the digital economy.
  • R&D Expenditure
  • ICT Patents
  • IT Workforce
  • Software Developers
  • ICT Influencing New Business Models
  • Broadband Potential
  • Mobile Potential
  • Cloud Potential
  • IoT Potential
  • AI Potential
Measurement and Normalization
Variables are measured against factors such as GDP PPP, number of households, and total population.

These factors assess the full picture of connectivity for each country, including measurements like app downloads per person or fiber optic penetration against total households.


The index benchmarks nations according to their overall rate of ICT adaptation across the economy and entire population.

In all cases, the data inputs are first measured against a normalizing variable like population size, so the index can benchmark countries according to relative levels of connectivity rather than absolute market sizes, which would be more reflective of economy size.

Scoring and Aggregation
For each variable, a country receives a rating of 1 (low) to 10 (high), depending on the data input.

Each indicator has a scale based on a realistic target value for 2025 and beyond, with a score of “10” indicating that the target value has been reached.

These target values are extrapolated from market penetration projections based on the highest ranked countries, historical market performance, and expert opinions. Each country’s score is then determined by its normalized raw data value in relation to this scale. In most baseline cases, a value that is less than 10% of the target value will be allocated a score of 1. A value of between 10% and 20% of the target value is allocated a score of 2, and so on. This is shown in the table below:


(% of target value)


1-10% 1
11-20% 2
21-30% 3
31-40% 4
41-50% 5
51-60% 6
61-70% 7
71-80% 8
81-90% 9
91-100% 10

Where the average values are significantly lower than the median, the formula is adjusted to include meaningful differentiation at the lower end of the scale and avoid excessive clustering of countries with equal (low) GCI scores.

The final index score is then calculated by aggregating the four segments: GCI Total = (Supply + Demand + Experience + Potential) / 4

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