The World Cup: Around the world in IT

We look at the tech form of the World Cup contenders.

GROUP A

France

France

Population: 63.4 million

Climate: Temperate

Economy: GDP is 1.948 trillion and the country's major trading partners are the US and European markets.

Government: Republic government led by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Famous for: Wine, Cheese, Eiffel Tower, Romance

Star Player: France Telecom

Top IT industry: Telecoms

Major IT contributions: France Telecom, owner of Orange, is one of France's largest companies and the third largest telecoms provider in Europe.

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Mexico

Mexico

Population: 111 million

Climate: Tropical to temperate

Economy: GDP is $1.559 billion and the country's major trading partner is the US.

Government: Federal constitutional republic led by Felipe Caldern.

Famous for: Aztecs, Tequila, Mariachi music

Star Player: JackBe

Top IT industry: Telecoms

Major IT contributions: The country is putting a lot of investment into Wi-Fi, with more than 72 million subscribers over 20 million fixed lines.

South Africa

South Africa

Population: 48.7 million

Climate: Temperate

Economy: GDP is $276.5 billion and the country's major trading partners are the US, UK, Germany and Japan.

Government: Constitutional democracy led by President Jacob Zuma.

Famous for: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a number of cricket players who now play for England and the Springboks rugby team.

Star Player: Thawte

Top IT industry: Security

Major IT contributions: Early internet security company Thawte was founded in South Africa and eventually bought out by VeriSign. From a science perspective, the first human to human heart transplant was performed in the country back in 1967.

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Uruguay

Uruguay

Population: 3.5 million

Climate: Mild

Economy: GDP is $30.8 billion and the country's major trading partners are Brazil, the US, China, Argentina and Venezuela.

Government: Presidential Republic led by Jos Mujica.

Famous for: Tango, 1811 revolution against Spain

Star Player: IdeaSoft

Top IT industry: Telecoms

Major IT contributions: Uruguay is known for having the best communications network of all the Latin American countries, being the first to achieve full coverage with a telephone network back in 1997.

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