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Every company in Qatar has broadband connection

Staff writer |
Every company in Qatar connected to the Internet is using a broadband connection, according to Qatar's ICT Landscape 2013: Business.

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From 2008 to 2012, information and communication technology (ICT) usage among businesses in Qatar has continued to grow substantially on all basic measures, including computer penetration, Internet penetration, broadband usage, and Web presence, according to Qatar's ICT Landscape 2013: Business, released by the Supreme Council of Information & Communication Technology (ictQATAR).

Internet penetration among businesses with 10 or more employees is now on par with the top ICT players in the world, including Australia, Japan, Korea, and the EU countries. Fhere is growing use of online activities, including email, e-commerce, and e-government services. However, the report also shows that small businesses lag behind larger establishments on nearly all ICT indicators.

At the employee level, there is lower computer and Internet penetration in Qatar compared to other countries, with only 28 percent of employees routinely using computers and 27 percent using the Internet on the job at least once a week.

Most important, data in the report demonstrates that local start-ups are blazing the ICT trail. While these young companies lack the financial capacity to heavily invest in ICT, they recognize its potential benefits in greater numbers than do businesses overall. The study suggests that new businesses are making investments only in those aspects that are considered essential for business success.

Business use of broadband is now universa. Every business in Qatar that is connected to the Internet is using either a fixed or a mobile broadband connection, up from 80 percent in 2008. While SMEs tend to lag behind on other ICT measures, they have made sharp gains in broadband usage. Companies are are far more satisfied with factors such as reliability and adequacy of options than with the cost of Internet services and the value of money spent on Internet services.

Cloud computing has yet to catch on in Qatar, with awareness of cloud computing still very low among businesses. Almost 90 percent of businesses reported that they had never even heard of the cloud. Among those aware of cloud computing but not currently using it, 25 percent of small 36 percent of medium, and 47 percent of large companies indicated they intend to use cloud services.

This landscape report is based on a survey of 1,003 companies. There are 30,793 businesses in Qatar employing 1,037,023 employees. Small businesses wih 1–9 employees represent 70 percent of all companies, but employ only 7 percent of the workforce. Very large companies with 250 or more employees employ 57 percent of the workforce but represent only 2 percent of companies. Small and medium-sized companies with up to 49 employees together constitute more than 90 percent of the total businesses in Qatar.

More businesses are using the Internet for commerce: 42 percent of all businesses in Qatar report having a Web presence, more than double the number of companies with a Web presence in 2010. Overall, 80 percent of all businesses in Qatar are aware of at least one government online service. In 2012 there were an estimated 27,000 technology specialists working across all businesses in Qatar, representing 2 percent of the total workforce.

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