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Oman ranks 48th out of a total of 134 countries in the Networked Readiness Index

The second edition of the Digital Indicators Report issued by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology stated that the Sultanate of Oman has made strides in laying the foundations of digital society and preparing the telecommunications and information technology sector to be modern and feasible for various economic and social aspects as well as responsive to the requirements of sustainable development.

This is obvious by establishing many projects, which contributed to building a digital infrastructure that enabled all individuals and sectors to access various services.

The issuance of the report came to reflect the digital reality of the Sultanate of Oman locally and globally in various fields and activities of the technology sector and out of the importance of studying indicators and sharing data.

The report included the most important indicators related to the information and communication technology sector, including postal security indicators, education indicators, cyber indicators and the Sultanate of Oman's ranking in several international reports.

According to the data, the Sultanate of Oman ranked 48th out of a total of 134 countries in the Networked Readiness Index report, 49th out of 172 countries in the Government's Artificial Intelligence Readiness Index report, 5th out of 22 countries in the Digital Economy Index report, 16th out of 175 countries in the International Cybersecurity Readiness Index report and 5 out of 13 countries in the GEMS Maturity Index of e-Government and Mobile Services.

At the level of families, the percentage of families with the Internet was stabilised at 94 per cent in 2020 and 2021. Also, the percentage of families with smartphones was 95 in the same two years, while the number of families that had computers — desktop computers, laptops, tablets — accounted for 66 per cent.

At the level of individuals, the percentage of individuals who owned a smart mobile phone reached 94 per cent in 2021, while individuals who used the Internet reached 95 per cent, according to surveys of access and use of information and communication technology in the households and individuals sector 2020 and 2021.

Regarding the Internet use activities of individuals, the surveys showed the participation of individuals in social media platforms out of the total Internet users stood at 77 per cent, uploading content to a website or blog was 72 per cent, and the purchase or order of goods through websites was 38 per cent, selling goods or services through websites was 20 per cent and using meeting applications for work, study or communication purposes was 42 per cent in 2021.

The report clarified the most important reasons for not buying goods or completing services online for individuals 18 years and over. It said that 72 per cent of the total individuals prefer shopping in stores, 44 per cent have concerns related to customer service such as warranties and receiving or returning products, 43 per cent have information security concerns in terms of using debit or credit cards, 43 per cent also have technology concerns in terms of fake websites or payment failures, 43 per cent lack skills and knowledge to purchase goods online, 43 per cent have concerns related to privacy such as disclosure of personal data) and 50 per cent do not show interest at all.

In the telecommunications sector, the fixed-line subscriptions per 100 families until the end of December 2021 amounted to 81.4 per cent, the fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 families amounted to 74.7 per cent, the mobile telephone subscriptions per 100 individuals of the population amounted to 135 per cent and the mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 individuals Of the population reached 114 per cent, according to the data of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

The authority said that the population coverage of 5G mobile phone networks amounted to 44.9 per cent, coverage of 4G phone networks reached 97.8 per cent, while coverage for 3G networks reached 99.4 per cent.

According to the report, the revenues of the telecommunications sector in the local economy in 2020 amounted to RO 795 million , while investments stood at RO 272 million investments and the value of royalty was RO 74 million. At the same time, Omanisation in the sector reached 92 per cent.

It mentioned that the number of attempts of cyberattacks targeting government networks and the Omani cyberspace that were discovered and dealt with in 2021 amounted to 39,319,293 million attempts, while the number of actual cybersecurity incidents that government institutions reported, vital sector institutions and individuals were 1,300 which were dealt with successfully in 2021. The number of notifications of security threats in the field of TNAS cybersecurity that was prepared and sent to the targeted groups decreased to 55 in 2021 compared to 107 in 2020, according to data from the National Centre for Information Safety.

The report included statistics from the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, in which it said that the percentage of students studying ICT majors who were enrolled in higher education institutions (inside and outside the Sultanate of Oman) out of the total enrolled students amounted to 12.5% for the academic year 2019/2020, while the percentage of graduates in ICT majors from institutions inside and outside the Sultanate of Oman, out of the total graduates in the academic year 2020/2021 was 17.8 per cent.

Moreover, the report said that the institutional readiness index for digital transformation rose from 55 per cent in 2020 to 59 per cent in 2021, as the amount of data exchanged between institutions through the National Integration Platform was 200,339,365 in 2021, and the number of digital transactions through civil ID card reached 1,657,313 and digital transactions via the certified mobile SIM amounted to 5,749,448.

According to the Executive Programme for Digital Transformation, 75 per cent of government institutions have a government digital transformation committees and teams, 75 per cent of the basic government calcified service

s fall under the category of common services whose procedures intersect with other institutions, 40 per cent of digital government services were obtained through websites and 81 per cent of the government institutions' websites are available in both Arabic and English.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Zainab Al Nassriya

Quelle/Source: Oman Daily Observer, 30.05.2022

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