The number of Internet subscribers in Jordan is forecasted to reach at 71,000 by the year’s end, a penetration of 1.33 percent, reported an Arab Advisors publication. Despite enjoying a liberalized Internet and data provisions market, Jordan is still facing a number of obstacles that are impeding potential growth.
Jordan's Internet and datacomm market is in all the sense of the word, competitive. The market is served by nine Internet Service Providers (ISPs), three of which are further utilizing their Datacomm Class License by providing datacomm (PDN) services to the market.
“In 2001, there were 56,000 Internet accounts in Jordan - indicating a growth of 27 percent between 2001 and 2002. The Arab Advisors Group projects 178,000 Internet users in the country by yearend 2002, a penetration of 3.33 percent. The market had close to 140,000 Internet users in 2001, a penetration of 2.7 percent.” Arab Advisors Group’s analyst, Sarah Alalul wrote in the report.
“Despite its ability to provide faster and more reliable Internet connectivity, the ADSL service has not taken off as well as could be expected. Jordan Telecom brought down ADSL rates soon after launching the service in order to drive growth. Yet, with the lack of public-awareness of the service, not to mention the somewhat lengthy setup procedures, there are currently only 1,772 ADSL subscribers in the country, less than 2.5 percent of Internet accounts. ” Alalul added.
One of the foreseeable drivers for Internet growth over the coming few years includes e-government initiatives. The project has not kicked off in its entirety yet, but there are many developments underway to start providing citizens with online government services. Also, with e-learning initiatives underway Internet penetration should also pick up as major sectors of society become more Internet savvy. Banks and other institutions are becoming more Internet-savvy too, introducing not only basic information-based services on their websites, but also offering more advanced services such as mobile and Internet banking.
“With some ISPs subsidizing personal computers with Internet access subscriptions, Jordan's Internet market will continue to see growth. We project 465,000 Internet users by 2006, a penetration of 7.84 percent. Despite these developments in the Internet market, e-commerce is not doing as well as could be expected.” Alalul noted.
In regards to Internet Banking, the Jordan Kuwait Bank and Arab Bank are the most advanced so far, providing a number of online services. Not as extensive in electronic banking as Jordan Kuwait Bank and the Arab bank, Jordan National Bank and Philadelphia Bank offer WAP/Mobile services to customers. These online services are offered via various routes including basic telephone banking, leased line banking, Internet banking, and mobile banking. — (menareport.com)
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