Mobile internet affordability in Israel is top-notch, but the quality is questionable and the infrastructure needs an overhaul, according to the annual 2022 Digital Quality of Life Index, which ranks Israel first out of 117 countries worldwide for digital wellbeing.
Israel climbed to first place from fourth in last year’s poll and eighth in 2020 – overtaking Denmark’s two-year lead.
The survey is produced annually by virtual private network provider Surfshark and is based on factors such as internet affordability and quality, infrastructure and digital government services.
Denmark moved up to second place, with Germany, France and Sweden rounding out the top 5 in the 2022 index. The Netherlands, Finland, Japan, the UK and South Korea were next in the top 10. The US fell behind Lithuania to 12th place, from fifth last year.
Congo, Yemen, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Cameroon performed worst and were among the bottom five countries.
The annual survey, now in its fourth year, ranks countries based on a set of five “pillars” – internet affordability, internet quality, e-infrastructure, e-security and e-government – and 14 indicators such as internet speed , GDP per capita, mobile internet price and broadband internet price. The study is based on open source information provided by the United Nations, World Bank, Freedom House, International Communications Union and other sources.
In the 2022 survey, Israel had the cheapest mobile internet access in the world. The index looked at the number of hours people had to work per month to afford access and found that Israelis can buy 1GB of mobile internet for just 5 seconds of work per month, 58 times less than in the UNITED STATES. Broadband internet affordability was more expensive at 19 minutes of work, but better than the global average of six hours of work.
In the other categories, Israel showed a mixed picture. In Internet Quality, which looks at the speed and stability of mobile and broadband connections, Israel fell to 21st place from 11th place in 2021. Chile shot to first place in this column, followed by Denmark and the United Arab Emirates. The US finished sixth.
In electronic infrastructure, which determines how well developed and inclusive a country’s existing electronic infrastructure can be, Israel ranked 28th, up one spot from 29th place in 2021. Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands were in the top three .
In e-government, which measures how advanced and digitized a country’s government services are, Israel fell to 33rd place from 29th place last year, well behind the US, which ranked first in this category, and all European countries.
“Better e-government helps cut bureaucracy, reduce corruption and increase transparency in the public sector. It also improves the efficiency of public services and helps people save time, which affects the quality of their digital life,” the organization explained in supporting materials.
In e-security, which examines a country’s readiness to fight cybercrime and its commitment to protecting online privacy, the startup nation with one of the strongest cybersecurity sectors in the world fell to 32 from 29th last year. Greece ranks first in this pillar for the second year in a row, followed by Belgium and Lithuania.
Israel’s lackluster infrastructure
In general, Israel has relatively slow internet due to a lack of competition, and reform to improve infrastructure has derailed and is the basis of a bribery case against former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israel ranked 67th in 2021, according to the latest report from M-Lab — a partnership between New America’s Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research, Princeton University’s Planet Lab, and others, and others — compiled by Cable 224 countries for internet speed.
According to the data, Israel has a median download speed of 34.97 megabits per second, above the global average of 28.69 Mbps but below the Netherlands at around 107 Mbps, Singapore at 97.61 and the US with an average download speed of 92.42 Mbit/s.
The country’s efforts to build high-speed Internet infrastructure using fiber optic cables have yielded mediocre results so far, although the Communications Ministry said this summer that about 70 percent of Israeli households will have access by the end of the year.
Fiber optic networks, which use light signals transmitted over hollow cables rather than electricity over copper wires as is the case with current systems, can provide download speeds of several gigabits per second. Current speeds are measured in tens of megabits per second.
Fiber optic networks are recognized as the best way to provide faster connections in a world that is becoming increasingly connected to the internet – from smart cars and smart homes to refrigerators and televisions. Faster internet speeds are also required to take advantage of advanced technologies such as virtual and artificial reality and for advanced data transmission needs or even high-definition television broadcasting. Higher internet speeds have also been linked to GDP growth and helped eliminate social inequalities, research has shown.