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Bahrain tops the world in internet penetration: study

MANAMA, September 14, 2023

Bahrain tops the world in internet penetration, while internet quality in the kingdom is 7% higher than the global average, according to Surfshark’s 5th annual Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL).
 
Internet networks cover 100% of the population in Bahrain.
 
The index ranks Bahrain 57th in the world in overall digital quality of life, dropping by one place from last year. Out of the index’s five pillars, Bahrain performed best in e-infrastructure, claiming 36th place, while facing challenges in e-security, ranking 68th. The nation ranks 48th in internet quality, while 57th in internet affordability, and e-government. 
 
In the overall Index, Saudi Arabia was placed 45th and Qatar 48th. In Asia, Bahrain takes 16th place, with Singapore the leader in the region.
 
Fixed internet averages 83 Mbps in Bahrain. 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, the research said.
 
Mobile internet averages 202 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, Bahrain’s mobile internet is 10% faster, while fixed broadband is 25% slower. Since last year, mobile internet speed in Bahrain has improved by 97%, while fixed broadband speed has grown by 9%, it said.
 
“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”, says Gabriele Racaityte-Krasauske, Surfshark's spokeswoman.
 
Affordability
The kingdom's internet affordability is just around the global average. Bahrainis have to work 2 hours 17 minutes a month to afford fixed broadband internet. While this is less than average, it is 8 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).
Bahrainis have to work 1 hour 21 minutes 24 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).
 
Bahrain is 68th in the world in e-security -- 24 places higher than last year. 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, Saudi Arabia is placed 42nd and Qatar 67th. 
 
E-infrastructure 
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). Bahrain ranks 52nd in network readiness.
 
The e-government pillar shows how advanced a government’s digital services are and the level of Artificial Intelligence (AI) readiness a country demonstrates. Bahrain’s e-government is above the global average.
 
Globally, the internet is more affordable than last year, the report said. Fixed internet is 11% more affordable than last year—on average, people have to work 42 minutes less a month to afford it. Mobile internet is 26% more affordable than last year—people have to work 41 minutes less to afford it. - TradeArabia News Service
 



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