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The UK has the world's second most favourable environment for technology, bettered only by that of Denmark.

The fifth annual "e-readiness" survey from IBM's Institute for Business Value and the Economist's Intelligence Unit looks at technology infrastructure, business use of technology, support services and use of ecommerce by business and consumers, broadband access and mobile use to rank countries most favourable for e-business.

Scandinavia dominates the top of the table with Denmark in first place, Sweden in third, Norway in fourth and Finland in fifth. Researchers credited Scandinavian governments with driving development and "the eagerness with which citizens have incorporated Internet technology into their daily routines".

Asian contenders included Singapore in seventh place and Hong Kong in ninth place.

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia were included for the first time, and Estonia did best in 26th position.

This year's survey looked at broadband penetration for the first time - this helped relegate the US into sixth place from third last year, when the UK took joint third place.

The survey notes that 3G usage has failed to live up to expectations with only 22m users of the world's 1bn mobile subscribers using the technology and 90 per cent of these are in Japan and South Korea.

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