The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) use index in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries for the Year 2021, issued by “Orient Planet Research”, the independent unit of the “Orient Planet” group, showed that the Gulf countries were able to achieve a major leap in the use of information and communication technologies during the past two decades, that made a difference in the services provided to users through the development of digital infrastructure.

The report stated that the percentage of Internet users in the GCC countries, which occupied a leading position at the regional and global levels, exceeded 98 percent, and that the percentage of mobile phone subscribers reached 137.66 percent of the total population during 2021, reports Al-Rai daily.

The mobile phone services and information technologies, the report said, developed rapidly in the GCC countries, in light of private sector companies entering the communications market, which significantly increased the number of users, to enhance the usage of digital economy in the region, and its contribution to increasing productivity levels, competitiveness, and the development of new mechanisms for accessing government e-services, to keep pace with the upcoming industrial revolution, and update artificial intelligence and the Internet.

The UAE topped the ICT use index for the Gulf countries for the year 2021, which measures the rate of Internet penetration and communication services, achieving 5.43 points, while Kuwait came second with 3.74 points, followed by Saudi Arabia third with 3.64 points, Qatar fourth with 3.62 points, Oman was fifth with 3.49 points and Bahrain sixth with 3.38 points.

On the index of the number of Internet users, Kuwait came fourth with 98.6 percent, second in the index of the number of mobile phone subscribers with 158.53 percent, sixth in the index of the number of fixed broadband subscriptions with 1.73%, and second in the index of the number of mobile broadband subscriptions at 127.44 percent.

As for the number of fixed phone lines, the UAE topped the GCC countries in terms of the number of fixed phone lines relative to the population with 24.07 percent, followed by Saudi Arabia with 16.51 percent, Qatar with 15.78 percent, while Bahrain ranked fourth with 15.67 percent, Kuwait fifth with 13.66 percent, and Oman last with 12.68 percent.

The report indicated that the UAE ranked first in the Gulf in terms of international bandwidth for each Internet user (bits/sec), with a share of the Internet user reaching 0.551 Mbps, followed by Bahrain with 0.454 Mbps, and then Saudi Arabia with 0.351 Mbps Qatar ranked fourth with 0.184 Mbps, Kuwait ranked fifth with 0.167 Mbps, and Oman ranked last with 0.152 Mbps.

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