Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology issue a joint press release On the occasion of the World Telecommunication and Information
Society Day 17/05/2022.
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) has been annually celebrated on May 17th since 1969 to mark the founding of ITU and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865.
The theme of this day is “Digital technologies for older persons and healthy ageing”, calling all stakeholders to involve in contributing, and innovating throughout the year with national, regional, and international initiatives to accelerate digital technologies for older persons and healthy ageing, combat age-based discrimination at the workplace, and ensure financial inclusion of older persons.
The majority of Palestinian households have access to internet at their homes and more than two thirds of households are headed by older persons
During the first quarter 2022, around 91% of households stated that they have access to internet service at home or one of their members in Palestine (91% in the West Bank and 90% in Gaza Strip).
Moreover, data showed that 77% of households headed by older persons (60 years and above) have access to internet service or one of their members at home in Palestine (78% in the West Bank and 77% in Gaza Strip).
More than half of the older persons use the internet
The percentage of individuals (10 years and above) who used the internet from anywhere reached 88% in Palestine (91% in the West Bank and 83% in Gaza Strip).
Moreover, the percentage of the elderly who used the internet from anywhere was 53% in Palestine, (57% in the West Bank and 44% in Gaza Strip). This percentage reached 57% among males and 49% among females.
More than two thirds of older persons have at least one cellular mobile
The percentage of individuals (10 years and above) who own a cellular mobile is 78% in Palestine (85% in the West Bank and 68% in Gaza Strip). Meanwhile, 77% of the elderly own a cellular mobile in Palestine (81% in the West Bank and 70% in Gaza Strip). This percentage reached 87% among males and 69% among females.
Wide ownership of smartphones, where half of older persons own them
The percentage of individuals (10 years and above) who own a smartphone is 71% in Palestine (82% in the West Bank and 56% in Gaza Strip). Meanwhile, 50% of the elderly own at least one Smartphone in Palestine, (58% in the West Bank and 35% in Gaza Strip). This percentage reached 52% among males and 48% among females.
More than 4 Million active cellular mobile subscriptions
Data from the Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology indicated that there has been an expansion in the fixed network infrastructure, accompanied with an increased use by households and institutions of this network and related services, especially the internet service. The number of landlines reached 485,829 telephone lines (Home, Commercial, Governmental) in Palestine at the end of 2021 compared with 360,402 lines at the end of 2010, with an increase of 35%.
Total Number of Fixed and Active Cellular Mobile Lines in Palestine
During 2010-2021 (Thousands)
Meanwhile, there was an increase in the active cellular mobile subscriptions by the end of 2021 reaching around 4.1 million subscribers in Palestine compared to 2.6 million at the end of 2010, with an increase of 56%.
A huge increase in the number of ADSL subscribers
The total number of ADSL subscribers in Palestine increased to about 405 thousand subscribers by the end of 2021 compared with 119 thousand subscribers by the end of 2010, with an increase of 240%. The average internet speed was 13.5 Mbps at the end of 2021 compared with 0.5 Mbps at the end of 2010.
Total Number of ADSL Subscribers in Palestine, 2010-2021 (Thousands)
In this regard, the Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology, in cooperation with companies operating in the sector, has decided to present special offers for the elderly under the title “World Telecommunication Day 2022 offers”, which would increase the technological inclusion of this category, including facilitating access to it; and creating solutions to their problems using technology. The Ministry supports initiatives that support digital inclusion, including digital technologies for the elderly, where they will be sensitized through workshops aimed at bridging the digital gap, promoting digital inclusion for the elderly, and analyzing how this gap affects their digital inclusion.
Using digital solutions in establishments to mitigate the pandemic effect
There was a decrease in sales/production size of information and communication sector during COVID-19 pandemic (5/3/2021–31/5/2021). Establishments reported a decrease by 47% when compared with the normal situation. Meanwhile, 18% of the establishments started using or have increased the use of internet, online social media networks, specialized apps or digital platforms in response to COVID-19 outbreak. Whereas the main use of such digital solutions was for marketing with a percentage of 83%, 53% for business administration and 38% for selling.
During three months (88 days), starting from March 5th until May 31st, 2021, establishments reported that the percentage of employees who were working remotely from home was 8% of the total number of employees; mainly in the telecommunication activities (12% of the total number of employees) and transportation activities (8% of the total number of employees). The main results also showed that the highest percentage of employees who were working remotely from home was among large establishments with a percentage of (18%).
 Data excluded those parts of Jerusalem that were annexed by Israeli occupation in 1967.