2008 Global Digital Economy - E-Government, E-Health & Tele-education

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Last updated: 1 Dec 2008 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 92

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the trends and developments taking place in the worldwide e-government, e-health and tele-education sectors. The report provides analyses of the issues surrounding the growth of such services and includes global and regional statistics. Comprehensive information on the exciting developments taking place on a regional level is also included. 

Subjects covered include:

·         The importance of broadband infrastructure;

·         Key issues and strategies needed for countries to develop their digital economies;

·         E-government market overview, analyses and statistics;

·         E-health market overview, analyses and statistics;

·         Tele-education market overview, analyses and statistics;

·         Overview of e-government markets in North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific;

·         Overview of e-health markets in North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific;

·         Overview of tele-education markets in North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific;

·         Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) market overview and statistics.



Researchers:- Paul Budde, Lawrence Baker, Lucia Bibolini, Peter Evans, Phil Harpur, Lisa Hulme-Jones, Paul Kwon, Henry Lancaster, Peter Lange, Tine Lewis, Kylie Wansink

Current publication date:- December 2008 (1st Edition)

Next publication date:- November 2009

Executive Summary

Many governments around the world now understand that broadband infrastructure can provide real benefits – not just in delivering high-speed Internet, but also in delivering services that are critical to the communities they serve. Important social services that depend on high quality broadband infrastructure include e-government, e-health and tele-education. 

Around the western world we are facing a massive dilemma in relation to healthcare. New advances in medical technologies are increasing life expectations and improving quality of life. The cost of this however is enormous and we simply can no longer afford to finance these huge advances via the public health systems. In countries with proper broadband infrastructure, e-health is shaping up as a way that allows us to access these services at a more affordable cost. The alternative to not embracing e-health is to accept a significantly inferior healthcare service in the future. Countries that are lagging in these broadband infrastructure developments are going to face, not just a telecoms dilemma – but, more importantly, they are going to face a health crisis. 

There is no doubt that e-health is going to totally transform the national healthcare systems and that society will need time to make the adjustment. Training is vital, and not just of medical professionals. Equally important is the training of other carers, volunteers, and the patients themselves. This is where tele-education can play an important role. Tele-education is becoming more and more important, particularly in developing markets, as it offers the potential for millions of people to access education that they would not be able to otherwise. Telecommunication technologies, such as mobile devices, the Internet and associated Web 2.0 applications, have further broadened the quality and possibilities for remote education and the ‘virtual classroom’. 

Now that the broadband markets are moving in the right direction, we have shifted our focus from access to actual broadband services and applications – such as e-government. While one of the primary aims of e-government is to improve customer service for citizens; e-government applications can also assist in improving communication and information sharing between government departments. For citizens, one-stop services can reduce time and confusion when dealing with a number of departments. Interactions between government, business and industry can also be improved via e-government applications and the increased transparency of such services can lead to less corruption. In addition, streamlining services can lead to cost cutting and less waste of public resources. 

This annual report explores and analyses the trends and developments taking place in the e-government, e-health and tele-education sectors. The report provides an outline of the benefits of such services and explores the issues surrounding their development. The report includes global and regional statistics and provides valuable insights into the developments taking place at a regional level for North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.  


Key highlights:

·         The ‘business case’ for FttH networks is also no longer based solely on the commercial returns from Internet access and other communication services. It also incorporates the social and economic benefits provided by such infrastructure.

·         Millions of people worldwide can potentially benefit from e-health applications. There is currently an estimated shortage of over 4 million doctors, midwives, nurses and support workers worldwide.

·         In North America, many e-health initiatives are still in early formative stages, although during 2008 a number of significant ventures started moving from the drawing board to implementation.

·         E-health schemes are pivotal to the broadband strategies of Europe’s Member States. Alleviating cost pressures on overburdened hospitals and health services is a key justification for governments to part-fund NGNs.

·         While there are many successful examples of e-health development taking place in Asia, this is not widespread. Much more can be done in the health sector for providing basic health care and services, especially for the poor communities.

·         Tele-education is being used around the world for training, vocational training and formal education.

·         The E-education sector in North America has grown rapidly in the last 10 years, both at the secondary school and post-secondary level, and will continue its expanding role in the broader education sector. 

Worldwide e-learning market value – 2008; 2010


Revenue ($ billion)

2008 (e)


2010 (e)


(Source: BuddeComm, 2008)


·         More and more countries are now investing in online government services and parts of Europe, Asia Pacific and North America are considered leaders in this area. Many have been implementing and developing their e-government strategies for a number of years and other governments around the world are now endeavouring to catch up.

·         Brazil is also considered a world leader in terms of e-government, especially in the areas of e-participation, electronic voting, online tax filing, and e-procurement. Chile is at the forefront in terms of e-government, its tax system having attracted worldwide attention because of the high filing rates achieved.

·         For several years the US and Canada have had well-established policies for developing e-government services, including the Canadian Government On-Line Initiative and the US’s 24 E-Gov Initiatives.

·         Ongoing improvements in broadband access and backbone infrastructure are set to bring further progress with e-services to Africa.


Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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