Saudi Arabia has ranked 50th in the Digital Quality of Life Index by cybersecurity firm Surfshark, but it topped in the category of most improved mobile speed. The Kingdom is strengthening digitalisation with more people working, shopping, banking, and communicating online, especially during the pandemic.
The report says that several state-run and private institutions have digitised their products and services due to technological advances. The Saudi government and businessmen are in favour of improving digital quality of life, reported Arab News.
For the Kingdom, the digital transition is a key part of its Vision 2030 strategy.
PricewaterhouseCoopers told Arab News that Saudi Arabia ranks among the top 10 developed countries for its robust digital framework. Its pace of digitalization has accelerated prior to 2020. "State and private-sector investment of around $15 billion in information and communications technology infrastructure gave the country a solid base."
Povilas Junas, a research project manager at Surfshark, said that despite dropping five ranks from the previous year, Saudi Arabia's strength is in mobile internet. Other than ranking first in mobile internet speed, it also ranks fifth in mobile internet stability. He added that good digital quality of life can help people improve their economic status, offer services, start their own business, and interact with clients across the world.
Surfshark's study found that the Kingdom can improve affordability. It scored 70% below the global average and residents had to work an average of almost nine hours in order to afford the cheapest broadband internet package. This is three hours and 13 minutes more compared with 2020.
Saudi Arabia's e-security is also 20% lower than the global average. Surfshark's chief executive officer, Vytautas Kaziukonis said that it is important for every country to ensure fully remote operational capacities for their economies, reported Arab News.