An annual study that evaluated countries based on the digital quality of life enjoyed by people living there, ranked Kuwait 63rd out of 121 countries indexed in the study for 2022. The index ranking was based on how a country fared on five core pillars of five core pillars of internet quality, internet affordability, e-security, e-infrastructure, and e-government.

The fifth iteration of the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) published annually by Surfshark, a leading provider of cybersecurity services, found Kuwait performed best in internet quality, claiming 26th place, while facing challenges in e-security, ranking 104th. The nation also ranked 35th in internet affordability, 45th in e-infrastructure, and 66th in e-government. In the overall Index, Kuwait lags behind Saudi Arabia (45th) and Qatar (48th). In Asia, Kuwait takes 19th place, with Singapore the leader in the region.

“In many nations, ‘digital quality of life’ has merged into the broader concept of overall ‘quality of life’. There’s no other way to look at it now that so many daily activities, including work, education, and leisure, are done online. That’s why it’s crucial to pinpoint the areas in which a nation’s digital quality of life thrives and where attention is needed, which is the precise purpose of the DQL Index”, said Gabriele Racaityte-Krasauske, Surfshark’s spokeswoman.

Kuwait’s internet quality was found to be 21 percent higher than the global average. Fixed internet averages 179 Mbps in Kuwait. To put that into perspective, the world’s fastest fixed internet — Singapore’s — is 300 Mbps. Meanwhile, the slowest fixed internet in the world — Yemen’s — is 11 Mbps.

Mobile internet averages 210 Mbps. The fastest mobile internet — the UAE’s — is 310 Mbps, while the world’s slowest mobile internet — Venezuela’s — is 10 Mbps. Compared to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait’s mobile internet is 15 percent faster, while fixed broadband is 63 percent faster.

The internet is affordable in Kuwait compared to other countries. Kuwaitis have to work 59 minutes a month to afford fixed broadband internet. While this is less than average, it is 3 times more than in Romania, which has the world’s most affordable fixed internet (Romanians have to work 18 minutes a month to afford it). Kuwaitis have to work 1 hour 22 minutes 36 seconds a month to afford mobile internet. This is 5 times more than in Luxembourg, which has the world’s most affordable mobile internet (Luxembourgers have to work 16 minutes a month to afford it).

However, it was in e-security that Kuwait tanked to 104th spot in the world. The e-security pillar measures how well a country is prepared to counter cybercrime, as well as how advanced a country’s data protection laws are. In this pillar, Kuwait lags behind Saudi Arabia (42nd) and Qatar (67th). Kuwait is unprepared to fight against cybercrime, the country has no data protection laws.

In terms of e-infrastructure Kuwait ranked 45th among 121 countries. Advanced e-infrastructure makes it easy for people to use the internet for various daily activities, such as working, studying, shopping, etc. This pillar evaluates how high internet penetration is in a given country, as well as its network readiness (readiness to take advantage of Information and Communication Technologies). Kuwait’s internet penetration is high (99% — 6th in the world), and the country ranks 61st in network readiness.

In the e-government pillar, Kuwait was in 66th spot globally, which was on par with the global average. This pillar evaluates how advanced a government’s digital services are and the level of Artificial Intelligence (AI) readiness a country demonstrates.

Globally, the internet was found to be more affordable in 2022 than a year earlier. Average cost of fixed internet fell 11 percent from what it was in 2021 — on average, people had to work 42 minutes less a month to afford it than a year earlier. Mobile internet was 26 percent more affordable than in 2021 — with people having to work 41 minutes less to afford it.

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