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95% of Jordanians own mobiles; 47% use the Internet

By Mohammad Ghazal - Feb 26,2014 - Last updated at Feb 26,2014

AMMAN — Nine out of 10 people own cell phones in Jordan, which ranks third in engagement in social networking sites among Arab states, according to the 2013 Spring Pew Global Attitudes Survey.

The study, which covered 24 countries, showed that 95 per cent of Jordanians own cell phones, compared to 88 per cent in Egypt phones and 86 per cent in Lebanon.

Jordan was ranked among the countries where smartphone ownership is high, as 38 per cent of mobile holders have smartphones, as opposed to 23 per cent in Egypt, 12 per cent in Tunisia, 23 per cent in Russia, 17 per cent in Turkey and 37 per cent in China.

The Kingdom ranked second in Internet usage in the Arab world (47 per cent).

Lebanon topped the list with a 57 per cent Internet usage rate. Egypt came third (43 per cent), followed by Tunisia (40 per cent).

Of the total Internet users in Jordan, 84 per cent use social networking sites, compared to 88 per cent in Egypt, 85 per cent in Tunisia, 72 per cent in Lebanon and 79 per cent in Turkey.

"The availability of smartphones in Jordan has significantly increased the number of social media users and this trend is expected to continue to grow," an expert in the social media industry, who preferred not to be named, told The Jordan Times over the phone on Wednesday.

"Prices of smartphones are declining, which is encouraging more people to buy them and connect to the Internet," he said. 

Attributing the increase in cell phone ownership to the "strong competition" between existing operators, the expert noted that it "encourages people to have more than one mobile phone".

Using mobile phones to send text messages is the most popular activity among mobile users in Jordan, with 71 per cent of them using their phones to text. 

Some 48 per cent of mobile holders use their phones to take pictures and videos, 28 per cent to access social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, 13 per cent to get political news, 9 per cent to get health news and 5 per cent to make or receive payments, according to the study.

In Egypt and Lebanon, the percentage of those using mobiles to get political news is around 24 per cent.

Using the Internet is a daily habit for an overwhelming majority of users in the region, the report showed.

Around 84 per cent of Internet users in Jordan use the service every day, compared to 90 per cent in Lebanon, 82 per cent in Turkey, 82 per cent in Egypt, 77 per cent in Russia and 58 per cent in China.

Staying in touch with friends and family is the number one reason that drives Internet users to use social networking sites, according to the report, which indicated that 69 per cent of social network users share their views about music and movies, 64 per cent share views about religion and 63 per cent share views about politics.

In terms of age groups, the study indicated that 67 per cent of those aged between 18 and 29 use the Internet in Jordan, compared to 81 per cent in Lebanon, 70 per cent in Tunisia and 63 per cent in Egypt.

More than half, or 57 per cent of social networking site users in Jordan, are aged between 18 and 29.

Among those aged 18-29 years old, 95 per cent hold cell phones in Jordan, compared to 92 per cent in Egypt, 90 per cent in Lebanon, 90 per cent in Indonesia and 99 per cent in China.

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