articles | 27 January 2021

Cypriots top EU for internet calls

With lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions across Europe, Cypriots were the busiest making video calls to chat to a relative or a friend during the pandemic.

A Eurostat study published Tuesday shows Cyprus topping the list of EU countries when it comes to using online video calling apps.

Cyprus was first when it came to video calls over the internet, with 85% of people aged 17 to 74 years using an application to stay connected.

The Netherlands followed with 83%; the EU average was 60%.

In contrast, this share was lowest in the Czech Republic and Slovenia were only a little over half (52%) of people aged 16-74 made telephone or video calls over the internet.

Cyprus’ digital gap was revealed as it was last when it came to using health services via a website or an online application, despite the country’s newly introduced General Health System.

Beneficiaries of the GHS can book an appointment with their GP or access their history and prescriptions online. Cypriots however, scored an astonishing 0% in this category.

Cypriots were seventh from 27 fellow member states when it came to following a course online with 19% of the participants saying they had done so.

Last year just 6% of participants had said they had taken any educational course online.

Iceland was first with 32% of participants taking an online education course.

Cyprus is in the middle when it comes to reading news from an online newspaper or magazine with 72%. Romania is last with 12%, while Iceland leads the way on 96%.

Cypriots do not appear to be comfortable with carrying out banking transactions online as just 52% of participants said they did so in 2020, coming ninth from bottom.

Romania was again last with 12% of its population carrying out internet banking while Denmark was first with a staggering 94%.

Furthermore, Cypriots were not so keen on the idea of selling their products or promoting their services online, with just 2% saying they have done so, leaving Cyprus in last place.

The Netherlands scored the highest with 37% having sold a product or a service over the internet in 2020.

With the coronavirus crisis keeping school and university students at home, Cyprus (16%) was below the EU average for students communicating with an educator or instructor over the net. Last the year the percentage was at 7%.

Overall, 87% of people aged 16-74 in the EU reported they had used the internet.

This share ranged from 70% in Bulgaria to 99% in Denmark and 91% in Cyprus.

Internet use has grown rapidly over the years – in 2010 it stood at 67% and in 2015 at 78%.

In 2020, the internet was used mainly to send/receive e-mails (74%), to find information about goods and services (69%), for instant messaging (68%), online news (65%) and telephoning or video calls (60%).

Source: Financial Mirror

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