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

According to the 2023 'Internet Saudi Arabia' report by the Communications, Space, and Technology Commission, internet usage is notably high among men and women, at 99.3 per cent and 98.5 per cent respectively.

The report, carried by Saudi Gazette, reveals that over half of the users, 52.3 per cent, spend more than seven hours daily on the internet, with the majority accessing it from home, with 84.7 per cent, on the move, at 72 per cent, or from workplaces, with 43.4 per cent. 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.

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

The report also highlights the top online activities, including government services and banking services, with usage rates of 95.5 per cent and 73.6 per cent, respectively. It also covers online shopping trends, indicating that 63.7 percent of users buy products or services online. More women shop online, at 74.6 per cent, compared with men, with 55.7 per cent.

Additionally, the report discusses 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.fsdfsd