Saudi records near-universal access to internet reaching 99% in 2023

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Saudi's internet usage reaches 99% in 2023

Saudi Arabia has recorded a significant increase in internet usage in 2023, with a penetration rate reaching 99 percent, demonstrating near-universal access among its population.

According to the 2023 “Internet Saudi Arabia” report by the Saudi Communications, Space, and Technology (CST) Commission, internet usage is notably high among men and women, at 99.3 percent and 98.5 percent respectively.

The report, carried by Saudi Gazette, revealed that over half of the users (52.3 percent) spend more than seven hours daily on the internet, with the majority accessing from home (84.7 percent), on the move (72 percent), and from workplaces (43.4 percent). 

Peak internet usage hours are between 9 PM and 11 PM, with Fridays seeing the highest activity. December is identified as the peak month for internet usage.

In terms of devices, mobile phones dominate as the primary means of internet access at 98.9 percent, followed by computers at 55 percent and tablets at 39 percent. The mobile operating systems are predominantly Android at 61.5 percent and iOS at 38.1 percent, while Windows leads among computer operating systems at 91.1 percent, followed by Mac at 7 percent.

The report also highlighted the top activities online, which include government services and banking services, with usage rates of 95.5 percent and 73.6 percent respectively. It also covers online shopping trends, indicating that 63.7 percent of users buy products or services online. More women (74.6 percent) shop online, compared with men (55.7 percent).

Additionally, the report explored the significant role of infrastructure developments in facilitating widespread internet usage. Saudi Arabia is positioned among the top ten countries globally for mobile internet speeds. The growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) is also evident with over 12 million IoT subscriptions. Internet data traffic exceeded 42 million terabytes in 2023, averaging 44 gigabytes per month per individual.

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