The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) recently released its statistics covering the Information and Telecommunication Technology (ICT) for around 233 countries in which KSA, the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain topped regional peers in terms of the four main indicators.
With regards to fixed telephone subscriptions, the UAE ranked first out of 17 countries in the MENA region. With 23.13 per 100 inhabitants, the country surpassed Lebanon and exceeded the regional average of 10.0 per 100 inhabitants.
The UAE’s result improved from last year’s ratio of 19.70 per 100 inhabitants and its ranking improved from the fourth position in the aforementioned period. At the other end of the regional scale was Sudan with a total of 1.08 per 100 inhabitants.
Pertaining to mobile subscriptions, Saudi Arabia reported the highest ratio within the MENA region with 191.24 per 100 inhabitants, surpassing the regional average of 99.1 per 100 inhabitants. The Kingdom, which managed to sustain its regional rankings from last year, outperformed Oman and Libya which reported subscription ratios of 168.97 per 100 inhabitants and 155.70 per 100 inhabitants respectively. At the lower end of the regional scale were Sudan and Yemen which recorded mobile subscription rates of 56.25 per 100 inhabitants and 47.05 per 100 inhabitants respectively.
As to broadband subscriptions, Bahrain ranked first amongst 17 countries within the MENA region, compared to fourth in 2010. With 13.83 per 100 inhabitants, Bahrain outperformed the UAE which reported a ratio of 10.99 per 100 inhabitants. It also exceeded the regional average of 2.2 per 100 inhabitants. At the lower end of the regional scale were Sudan and Yemen with 0.44 per 100 inhabitants and 0.04 per 100 inhabitants, respectively.
When it came to internet penetration, which measures the percentage of the population using the internet, Qatar topped regional peers with a share of 86.2%, and sustained the same rank as that reported last year. It was followed by Bahrain and Kuwait with corresponding shares of 77.0% and 74.2% respectively. At the lower end of the scale were Algeria and Iraq with internet penetration rates of 14.0% and 5.0% respectively. It is worth mentioning that the regional average reached 42.8% in 2011.
Sources: International Telecommunications Union, Bank Audi's Group Research Department