With 35.1 points, Montenegro has the highest DESI (Digital Economy and Society Index) among the countries of the Western Balkans (WB) for 2022, the Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services (EKIP) announced.
DESI for Serbia is 34.9 points, Albania 32 points, North Macedonia 27.4 points, Kosovo 26.1 points and Bosnia and Herzegovina 23.2 points.
– The DESI average for the WB countries is 29.7 points, while the DESI average at the level of the EU countries is 52.3 points – they stated.
As they explain, DESI is a composite index that summarizes relevant indicators on digital performance and monitors the evolution of European countries in digital competitiveness.
– The Digital Economy and Society Index budget for 2022 was prepared on the basis of data from 2021 and enables a comparison of the digital performance of the Western Balkan countries with the average performance of the WB region and the EU. It consists of four indicators, namely human capital, connectivity, adoption of digital technologies and digital public services – stated sz from EKPI.
When it comes to the human capital indicator, with a result of 10.4 points, Montenegro is better than the average of the countries of the Republic of Serbia, which is 8.4 points, but it is still lower than the average of the EU countries, which is 11.4.
– For the connectivity indicator, Montenegro, with a result of 10.4 points, has a significantly better result than the average of the WB countries, which is 7.5 points, but also lower than the average of the EU countries, which is 15 points. For the indicator of the adoption of digital technologies, Montenegro, with a result of 8.5 points, has a significantly better result than the average of the countries of the Republic of Serbia, which is 5.2 points, but still lower than the average of the EU countries, which is 9 points – they add.
If we talk about the indicator of digital public services, Montenegro, with a value of 5.8 points, has the lowest result of all DESI dimensions and almost the worst result of the WB countries, which have an average of 8 points, which is significantly lower than the average 16.8 points of EU countries.
The announcement states that the data for the connectivity indicator is collected and submitted by the Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services, which is, among other things, the regulatory body in the electronic communications sector. As they pointed out, Montenegro recorded the highest result for this indicator, which is 10.4 points, which is a result that is significantly above the average of the WB countries.
– Although Montenegro has excellent results in certain segments of this Digital Economy and Society Index indicator, nevertheless, like the entire WB region, it lags behind the EU in terms of this indicator, mainly due to the lack of 5G services in 2021 – the announcement states.
EKIP announced that the percentage of households that use fixed broadband access in Montenegro is extremely high and amounts to 96%.
– By the way, the ZB region has good results compared to the EU in terms of the percentage of households that use fixed broadband access. In 2021, 77% of households in the countries of the Western Balkans used broadband services compared to 78% in the EU – according to the Agency.
Also, they add, in Montenegro 40% of households use broadband Internet access of 100 Mb/s and more, which is almost as much as in the EU where that percentage is 41%. In 2021, almost 21% of households in the WB countries used broadband services of at least 100 Mb/s.
– The percentage of households that use broadband Internet access with a speed of 1 Gb/s was 0.01% and, as in the entire region of the Western Balkans, it is significantly below the average in the EU, where it was 8% – indicate from EKIP.
When it comes to household coverage of next-generation access technologies (NGA: VDSL, FTTP and Cable DOCSIS) in Montenegro, it is 80%. In the ZB region the coverage is 73%, while in the EU this average is 90%.
– Montenegro has very high capacity network coverage (VHCN includes FTTP and cable DOCSIS 3.1) in the amount of 77%, which is above the EU average of 70%. In 2021, half of the households of the Western Balkan countries were covered by one of the very high-capacity networks – the announcement states.
– Fiber to the premises (FTTP) coverage in Montenegro is 67% of households and is above the EU average of 50%. In the region of the ZB states, this average is at the level of 38% of the total number of households. Also, of the WB countries, Montenegro has the highest penetration of mobile broadband access, which is 90.6% and is above the EU average, which is 86.5%. In 2021, 82% of the citizens of the ZB region used a mobile device to access the Internet.
– The Broadband Access Price Index (BPI) measures the price level of representative baskets of fixed, mobile and converged broadband offers. A higher BPI score means lower broadband prices. Average broadband prices in the ZB region are higher compared to average broadband prices in the EU. Montenegro, with 52 points in this area, occupied an average value among the countries of the Western Balkans – reads the announcement of EKIP.
They also state that in 2021, none of the countries of the Western Balkans have allocated radio-frequency bands harmonized for 5G, and the operators did not have 5G services in the commercial offer, so there was no coverage of the population with these services. On the other hand, harmonization with the 5G radio spectrum in the EU was carried out in the amount of 56%, while the coverage of the population with 5G services amounted to 66%.
– Bearing in mind the significant investments that operators invest in the development of new generation networks in Montenegro, increasing their availability, growth in the number of connections and speed for Internet access, the radio spectrum auction procedure for pioneering bands for the implementation of 5G, which was carried out by the Electronic Communications Agency and postal activity in 2022, the beginning of the provision of commercial 5G services and the current coverage of the population with 5G services in the amount of 76%, it is to be expected that by the next budget, DESI Montenegro will make a significant jump according to this indicator – concludes the EKIP announcement.