According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Wednesday, in 2018, the share of internet users among people between the ages of 16-74 reached 89%, up one percent on year.
91% of households had an internet connection at home, which is 2% more than in 2017. Almost all households with children (99%) and 87% households without children had internet at home. Fixed broadband connection (wired or wireless) was used at home by 89% of the households with internet connection, while 81% of the households with internet connection had mobile internet.
98% of 16-54-year-old internet users had used the internet in the last 3 months. The share of internet users increased the most among 65-74-year-olds, up from 53% to 59%, and the digital divide between the youngest (16-24-year-olds) and the oldest age group (65-74-year-olds) decreased to 41%. 92% of internet users used the internet daily.
Nine out of ten 16-74-year-old internet users used the internet to send or read emails, use internet banking services and seek information on goods and services. 69% of internet users watched videos (e.g. films, music) and 66% listened to music online. In the last 12 months, one in four internet users had booked a transport service (e.g. Taxify or Uber) and one in five an accommodation service (e.g. on Airbnb.com) from a private person through a website or mobile app. In the last 12 months, 81% of internet users submitted applications or data, such as an e-tax declaration, and 78% had sought information on the website or mobile phone app of a public sector authority.
In the last 12 months, 68% of internet users bought or ordered a product or service online, which is 3% more than in 2017. Among women who use the internet, the share of e‑commerce users is 71%, whereas the same share for men is 65%. The share of e-commerce users who had ordered from the internet at least 5 times increased by 4%, from 23% to 27%. Products or services were ordered primarily from Estonian sellers (85% of e-commerce users). In the last year, the orders from sellers outside the European Union (e.g. US, China) increased by 5%. The products ordered the most from the internet were insurance policies (66%), travel and accommodation services (63%) and tickets to various events (58%).
Few businesss employ ICT specialists
In 2018, 13% of Estonian enterprises employed information and communication technology (ICT) specialists. Less than one tenth (6%) of enterprises tried to recruit or recruited ICT specialists and 4% of enterprises had difficulties recruiting ICT specialists. Unfortunately, the number of ICT specialists is not showing an increase compared to the previous year, but rather a slight decline. On the one hand, this can be explained by the fact that more than half of the enterprises that recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists in 2017 had difficulties finding ICT professionals. On the other hand, the market has come up with new solutions in the form of cloud services that provide the opportunity to rent software, hardware or combinations of them or use server space to store and save files. The use of such a service enables an enterprise to successfully manage without ICT specialists, as cloud services are managed and monitored by the service providers.
In 2018, one third (34%) of Estonian enterprises purchased cloud services. The most common cloud services are financial and accounting software applications, office software and file storage and hosting and e-mail services. The biggest users of paid cloud services are information and communication sector enterprises, who are providers of cloud services themselves, too.
3D printer use still very limited
In 2018, for the first time in the IT survey of enterprises, information was collected about the use of three‑dimensional (3D) printing technology. Although 3D printing is no longer a new topic, its use in the business sector is not very common, likely due to the fact that the technology involved is not cheap and it is mainly limited to plastics, although universities have already been experimenting with the 3D printing of metal objects. The results of the survey show that 2% of Estonian enterprises have used 3D printing. The technology has been used the most in the information and communication, manufacturing, healthcare and commerce sectors. 3D printing was used primarily to produce models or prototypes for the company's own use or in manufacturing processes.
According to the survey data, 3% of Estonian enterprises have used industrial robots and about 1% have used service robots. Service robots have been used the most by large enterprises that employ 250 or more employees. Manufacturing and transportation and storage enterprises have used service robots both in warehousing systems and assembly work. More than a third (35%) of enterprises using service robots used them in customer service, for example, in informing customers, placing goods, or delivering product information.
Editor: Aili Vahtla