Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Malta

Article
Find here the most recent analysis and data by country. A selection of key documents and graphs are shown about topics such as broadband, internet activity and skills, egovernment, ICT in schools, research and innovation, as well as other main indicators.
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In DESI 2015, Malta has an overall score[1] of 0.48 and ranks 15th out of the 28 EU Member States. Relative to last year, Malta has progressed in terms of overall score and rank, thanks in particular to progress in Connectivity. Here, Malta is above the EU average. All Maltese households are covered by fixed broadband and all networks provide at least 30 Mbps. Although Malta is doing well in terms of the availability and sophistication of eGovernment services, only 27% of internet users are fully engaging with public authorities online This may be due to the fact that only 70% of Maltese are internet users and only 55% of the population possess at least basic digital skills (EU average is 59%) These factors seem to be holding back the development of Malta's digital economy.

Malta falls into the cluster of medium‑performance[2] countries, where it performs at the cluster average.

 
DESIMaltaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015150.480.510.47
DESI 2014120.470.470.44

1. Connectivity

1 ConnectivityMaltaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015110.580.60.55
DESI 2014100.560.540.51

 

Connectivity is the DESI 2015 dimension where Malta performs best. With an overall Connectivity score of 0.58, the country ranks 11th among EU countries and above the EU average. All Maltese households are covered by fixed broadband and all networks are NGA (eg they provide at least 30 Mbps).

 

 MaltaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
1a1 Fixed BB Coverage
% households
100%
(2013)
 5100%
(2013)
597%
(2013)
1a2 Fixed BB Take-up
% households
79%
(2014)
 678%
(2013)
470%
(2014)
1b1 Mobile BB Take-up
Subscribers per 100 people
57
(2014)
 1850
(2013)
1667
(2014)
1b2 Spectrum
% of the target for spectrum to be harmonised at EU level
38%
(2014)
 2638%
(2013)
2570%
(2014)
1c1 NGA Coverage
% households, out of all households
100%
(2013)
 1100%
(2013)
162%
(2013)
1c2 Subscriptions to Fast BB
% of subscriptions >= 30Mbps, out of fixed BB subscriptions
14%
(2014)
 2212%
(2013)
2322%
(2014)
1d1 Fixed BB Price
% individual gross income spent for the cheapest standalone Fixed Broadband subscription (lower values are better)
n.a. -n.a.-1.3%
(2014)

 

Malta has completed its broadband coverage and all connections are fast (at least 30 Mbps). The take up of fixed broadband is well above EU average. But Malta has two main challenges.

First, Malta needs to improve its performance in mobile. In December 2013, 4th generation (LTE) networks were not available. This may be the outcome of the limited harmonisation of spectrum bands. As a result, the take up of mobile broadband is below EU average.

Second, given wide coverage of fast connections, Malta needs to stimulate the take up of connections providing at least 30 Mbps which (at 14% of all subscriptions) is largely below the EU average (22%).

2. Human Capital

2 Human CapitalMaltaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015180.490.570.54
DESI 2014160.470.540.52

 

With a Human Capital score of 0.49, Malta ranks 18th among EU countries, and ranks worse than a year ago (16th).

 

 MaltaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
2a1 Internet Users
% individuals (aged 16-74)
70%
(2014)
 1866%
(2013)
1875%
(2014)
2a2 Basic Digital Skills
% individuals (aged 16-74)
55%
(2014)
 1854%
(2012)
1759%
(2014)
2b1 ICT Specialists
% employed individuals
3.1%
(2013)
 103.1%
(2012)
102.8%
(2013)
2b2 STEM Graduates
Graduates in STEM per 1000 individuals (aged 20 to 29)
11
(2012)
 2411
(2012)
2417
(2012)

 

In order to fully develop its digital economy and society, Malta needs to engage its citizens to use the Internet. This is Malta's weakest DESI indicator and presents a lower percentage of regular Internet users (70%) than the EU (75%). Moroever, a quarter of the maltese population has never used the internet.

Malta needs to address its severe digital skills gap. Digital skills are nowadays needed in every corner of the workforce, and despite the fact that 55% of Maltese population possess at least basic digital skills, this value is below the EU average (59%).

Additionally, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduates play an important role in exploiting the opportunities offered by digital technologies in businesses and in this indicator Malta is one of the worst 28 EU Member States, with a rank of 24.

3. Use of Internet

3 Use of InternetMaltaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015130.440.440.41
DESI 2014110.450.420.39

 

In terms of the propensity of individuals to use Internet services, Malta scores 0.44 (down from 0.45 last year) and ranks 13th among EU countries. Maltese appears to be less willing to use the Internet when they need to make transactions, as shown by flat results both in online banking and online shopping since the previous year.

 

 MaltaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
3a1 News
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
74%
(2014)
 1470%
(2013)
1767%
(2014)
3a2 Music, Videos and Games
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
56%
(2014)
 953%
(2012)
1049%
(2014)
3a3 Video on Demand
% households that have a TV
7%
(2013)
 277%
(2013)
2739%
(2013)
3a4 IPTV
% households that have a TV
4.2%
(2013)
 234.2%
(2013)
2313%
(2013)
3b1 Video Calls
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
39%
(2014)
 1743%
(2013)
937%
(2014)
3b2 Social Networks
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
72%
(2014)
 473%
(2013)
258%
(2014)
3c1 Banking
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
61%
(2014)
 1262%
(2013)
1157%
(2014)
3c2 Shopping
% individuals who used Internet in the last year (aged 16-74)
63%
(2014)
 1065%
(2013)
1063%
(2014)

 

Maltese Internet users engage in a broad range of online activities. They read news online (74%), listen to music, watch films and play games online (56%), use the Internet to communicate via voice or video calls (39%) or through social networks (72%). For all of these activities, engagement among Maltese is higher than the EU average. However, regarding the use of video on demand, Malta's value of 7% is largely bellow the EU average of 39%.

However, DESI results also show a decrease in video calls and in the use of social networks, online banking and online shopping from 2014 to 2015, which may evidence that Maltese are becoming more reluctant to engage in the specified activities. Overcoming this trend is an important step for Malta, since a digital economy is partly fuelled by its citizens’ consumption in the online channel.

4. Integration of Digital Technology

4 Integration of Digital TechnologyMaltaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015110.380.370.33
DESI 2014120.360.340.3

 

In Integration of Digital Technology by businesses, Malta scores 0.38, and ranks 11th among EU countries. Malta’s businesses still need to better exploit the possibilities offered by on-line commerce, social media and cloud-based applications.

 

 MaltaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
4a1 Electronic Information Sharing
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
31%
(2014)
 1525%
(2013)
1931%
(2014)
4a2 RFID
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
6.2%
(2014)
 53.3%
(2011)
43.8%
(2014)
4a3 Social Media
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
24%
(2014)
 425%
(2013)
314%
(2014)
4a4 eInvoices
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
8.8%
(2014)
 1913%
(2013)
1011%
(2014)
4a5 Cloud
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
9.7%
(2014)
 13n.a.-11%
(2014)
4b1 SMEs Selling Online
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
16%
(2014)
 1110%
(2013)
1715%
(2014)
4b2 eCommerce Turnover
% turnover of SMEs (no financial sector, 10-249 employees)
3.5%
(2014)
 254.4%
(2013)
268.8%
(2014)
4b3 Selling Online Cross-border
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
12%
(2013)
 312%
(2013)
36.5%
(2013)

 

A true digital economy is one where businesses take full advantage of the possibilities and benefits offered by digital technologies, both to improve their efficiency and productivity, as well as to reach costumers and realise sales. To that end, Malta still has a large possibility of improvement.

The adoption of digital technologies is an important driver of labour productivity growth and needs to be strengthened. The percentage of eCommerce turnover (3.5%), of eInvoices (8.80%), and of businesses using technologies such as electronic information sharing (ERP – 31%) in Malta is among the lowest in the EU.

On a bright side, more and more Maltese SMEs sell online (16%) and the percentage of SMEs selling online to other EU member states (12%) has increased, mostly because of the tourism sector.

5. Digital Public Services

5 Digital Public ServicesMaltaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015130.460.490.47
DESI 201490.50.450.45

 

In Digital Public Services Malta presents a score of 0.46, and ranks 13th among EU countries. Despite widespread available public services, the limited use of eGovernment is putting a brake in the rank.

 

 MaltaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
5a1 eGovernment Users
% individuals returning filled forms, out of Internet users in the last year (aged 16-74)
27%
(2014)
 1918%
(2013)
1933%
(2014)
5a2 Pre-filled Forms
Score (0 to 100)
87
(2014)
 289
(2013)
245
(2014)
5a3 Online Service Completion
Score (0 to 100)
99
(2014)
 197
(2013)
175
(2014)
5a4 Open Data
Score (0 to 700)
240
(2014)
 25n.a.-380
(2014)
5b1 Medical Data Exchange
% General Practitioners
18%
(2013)
 1718%
(2013)
1736%
(2013)
5b2 ePrescription
% General Practitioners
0%
(2013)
 280%
(2013)
2827%
(2013)

 

Modern public services offered online in an efficient manner are a vehicle for reducing public spending and drive efficiency gains for enterprises, citizens, and the public administration itself.

Malta scores at the top of the ranks in the availability and sophistication of eGovernment services. However, use by citizens does not match the ambition of the supply side: with 27% of internet users fully engaging with the public authorities, Malta scores well below EU average, probably because of the level of digital skills in the population.

Moreover, the worsening in the ranking of this dimension compared to last year is attributable to Malta's score in making open data available. This is an area where Malta should improve: by making data available, government agencies can enable the private sector to leverage those data and create economic value.

Finally, Malta faces a key challenge in online public services mostly in the area of eHealth.

 

[1] DESI scores range from 0 to 1, the higher the score the better the country performance.

[2] In the DESI 2015, the medium-performance cluster of countries comprises Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Deutschland, Estonia, Spain, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, United Kingdom.

 

Figures from 2013

 Download the country profile for 2013 as a pdf

  Download country information for 2013 as a power point presentation

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Last updated on 24/02/2015