New Zealand has emerged as having the second highest number of machine-to-machine cellular services as a percentage of cellular services in operation, according to the International Telecommunication Union's ICT Facts and Figures 2016.
The figures, which relate to early 2015, show New Zealand with 20 M2M connections per 100 cellular services, second only to Sweden which had 50, more than double the number of any other nation. Norway was in third position with 18 and Finland in fourth position with 13. Australia did not make the top 20.
The result is somewhat surprising. The ITU said: "The countries with the highest M2M penetration rates are highly industrialised, advanced economies, including the Northern European countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark."
It offered no other comment on the figures, nor did the report contain any other NZ-specific information. However an earlier ITU document from 2014 noted that reporting of M2M connections was not consistent around the world, with many operators not distinguishing them from other cellular services.
The main purpose of the ITU report was to highlight the large number of people around the world still without Internet access: "3.9 billion people remain cut-off from the vast resources available on the Internet, despite falling prices for ICT services," the ITU said.
"Developing countries now account for the vast majority of Internet users, with 2.5 billion users compared with one billion in developed countries. But Internet penetration rates tell a different story, with 81 percent in developed countries, compared with 40 percent in developing countries and 15 percent in the least developed countries."
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