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    Belgium a bit slow in digital commerce and mobile internet


    Belgium is strong in information technologies and IT communication, however progress can still be made in the digital e-commerce sector and mobile internet, according to a report by SPF Economy. Our country has achieved 7 out of 10 objectives of the digital agenda that the European Union laid out for as milestones until 2015. E-commerce has increased in 2013, with 48% of Belgian consumers making a transaction on the internet (compared to 45% in 2012). However, only 13.5% of Belgian companies’ turnover comes from e-commerce which places Belgium slightly under the EU average (EU, 14%). And only 21% of Belgian companies carry out purchases through the internet, compared to 37% for the EU average.

    With regard to infrastructure, Belgium’s internet coverage includes 99,9% of its territory (end of 2013) and 98% of the population have access to high speed internet of at least 30 Mbps (2nd largest coverage in the EU). The fixed internet subscriptions in the country stands at the highest among all EU countries with over 23 subscribers for every 100 citizens. However with regard to mobile internet, Belgium is lagging behind and is slightly below the EU average in terms of subscribers that use mobile internet.

    About 80% of all households have an internet connection and 82% have at least a computer at home. The latter remains the favourite mean to connect to internet, however the use of mobile phones to access the internet is growing steadily: with an increase of 13,4% the last year for mobile phones and 15,1% increase for various tablets.  

    Jonadav Apelblat (Source: Belga)
    Business and Technology Editor
    The Brussels Times