Use of Internet in Estonia

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 1st quarter of 2016, 86% of households in Estonia had Internet access at home. There has been an increase in the share of people having used e-commerce services more than five times in the last three months.

A fixed broadband connection (wired or wireless) continues to be the most popular type of Internet connection, as it was used in 90% of the households with Internet access. 88% of households without children and 92% of households with children had a fixed broadband Internet connection (wired or wireless). There has been a significant increase in the use of mobile Internet. While in the 1st quarter of 2015 slightly more than a half (56%) of households had mobile Internet, then according to data from the 1st quarter of 2016 there was mobile Internet in a little more than three quarters (78%) of households. The use of fixed broadband connection (either wired or wireless) is more popular among households living in urban settlements, while mobile Internet is more popular among households living in rural settlements. Households without an Internet connection at home cited lack of interest as the main reason for not having one.

In the first three months of 2016, 87% of persons aged 16–74 had used the Internet. The share of Internet users is the largest among 16–54-year-olds (90%) and the smallest among 55–74-year-olds (65%). Among persons with basic or up to primary education, seven out of ten used the Internet, while among persons with higher education nine out of ten used the Internet.

Nine out of ten 16–74-year-old Internet users had used the Internet in the last three months for Internet banking, reading newspapers and magazines, using e-mail, and seeking information about products and services. 64% of the 16–74-year-old Internet users listened to music online and 43% watched a television programme (including live and catch-up programmes).

A little bit more than a half (56%) of 16–74-year-olds has bought products or services online in the last 12 months. Compared to males, the share of e-commerce users is 6 percentage points higher among females. Items that were bought online the most included travel and accommodation services (59% of the users of e-commerce), tickets for concerts, cinema, theatre and other events (55%), insurance policies (including those offered as a package), and clothes, shoes or sports equipment (51%).

In the 1st quarter, slightly less than three quarters (73%) of the users of e-commerce bought goods or services online up to five times. Younger e-commerce users (aged 16–24) made online purchases more often (3–5 times) than older e-commerce users (aged 65–74), who did it less frequently (1–2 times). In 43% of the cases, the price of goods bought online (excl. expenditure on shares and other financial services) remained between 100–499 euros. There were more males than females among persons having made online purchases for over 500 euros. Compared to the 1st quarter of 2015, the share of those who made online purchases more often than five times increased by 3 percentage points and the share of persons having spent more than 500 euros grew by 2 percentage points.

In the business sector, the use of cloud services designed to share resources via the web – software, hardware, or combinations thereof – has become increasingly more widespread. More than a fifth of Estonian enterprises have bought paid cloud services. The most popular cloud services include financial and operational software, office software, file storage and recording services and e-mail services. The main users of paid cloud services are enterprises of the information and communications sector (54%), who are providers of cloud services themselves, too.

The use of big data is spreading rapidly as a new trend. Big data are produced in the implementation of digital technology and are forwarded automatically from machine to machine. Such data are generated, for example, with the help of production process sensors, by logging various transactions, but also as a result of various social media activities. 13% of Estonian enterprises have analysed big data, with the employees of the enterprises themselves having performed the analyses. Big data are analysed the most by enterprises of the information and communications sector (29%), followed by water supply, sewerage, waste management and waste management enterprises (28%), and financial and insurance enterprises (21%).

The use of information technology among persons aged 16–74 and in households and enterprises is studied based on a harmonised methodology in all European Union Member States. Statistics Estonia studies the use of information technology in households and among inhabitants aged 16–74 as an independent survey since 2014 (from 2005 to 2013 it was part of the Labour Force Survey). The survey is carried out in the 2nd quarter, with the 1st quarter being the reference period. A household is a group of persons who live at the same address and share joint financial resources and whose members consider themselves to be members of one household, while a family is based on family relationships or kinship.

Statistics Estonia has surveyed the use of information technology in enterprises since 2001. In 2016, approximately 3,400 enterprises participated in the survey. The survey involves enterprises with 10 or more persons employed.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Thousands of new IT specialists needed in Estonia

The Estonian IT business sector suffers from a lack of qualified personnel, yet the number of applications for IT courses in higher education has remained more or less the same. To make matters worse, only half of those taking up IT studies complete their degree.

The Tallinn University of Technology even changed its conditions of application to more carefully select students actually able to finish. Where a year ago all those were admitted who met minimum requirements, the conditions are now a lot stricter, ETV’s “Aktuaalne Kaamera” newscast reported.

Read more from ERR News

Eesti Telekom adopts Telia Eesti as new business name

AS Eesti Telekom, Estonian holding of the Scandinavian telecom group TeliaSonera, has adopted Telia Eesti as its new business name and will abandon the EMT and Elion trade marks.

The group had been planning a brand change for years, Telia Eesti CEO Dan Stromberg told Postimees. “Finally it was found that Telia is the best option because we are using it in Sweden and Denmark already, it’s easy to pronounce and to use. Besides it shows that a customer can use our services in all the Nordic countries.”

In addition to the brand change Telia Eesti will introduce a new roaming service meaning free roaming for Estonian users in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Lithuania, Finland and Latvia.

A second new service is home internet and television over the mobile network. “We can now offer our services to all these 150,000 households to whom we had to say ‘no’ earlier,” Stromberg said.

In accordance with an entry registered on Jan.19,2016, the business name AS Eesti Telekom has been dropped and the new name of the group is Telia Eesti AS, it appears from the commercial register.

Until 2014, Eesti Telekom used to be the holding company for the subsidiaries Elion Ettevõtted and EMT. As part of a reorganization of the Teliasonera group the companies were merged into AS Eesti Telekom in 2014.

Teliasonera group was established in 2002 as a result of a merger of the Telia telecommunications group of Sweden and Sonera of Finland.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review

TeliaSonera and Ericsson to go 5G

TeliaSonera and Ericsson have entered into a strategic partnership to let customers in Stockholm and Tallinn experience 5G services already in 2018.

Based on TeliaSonera and Ericsson’s common understanding of market and customer needs, the two companies will develop 5G use-cases and service scenarios, including both communication and Internet of Things (IoT) services with the purpose to address new business opportunities, the companies announced today. The partnership will bring 5G services to customers in 2018 by combining the TeliaSonera network with Ericsson technology.

“Stockholm and Tallinn are two of the most connected cities in the world and now we will take them to the next level. 5G will create completely new innovations, ecosystems and great services to our customers,” Johan Dennelind, President and CEO TeliaSonera, said in a press release.

Potential 5G applications could include e-health with real time surveillance of patients and remote treatment; connected cars including critical communication between vehicles (warnings, support to self-driving cars etc) as well as better network performance in terms of capacity, coverage and power consumption.

Sweden has long been a pioneer ICT-nation and notably Ericsson and TeliaSonera launched the world’s first 4G network in Sweden in 2009. Estonia has acknowledged the economic importance of a digital society and is one of the most advanced e-societies in the world.

According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, there will be 150 million 5G subscriptions by the end of 2021.

Source: ERR via Estonian Review

Estonia is the first to legislate the storage of digital source materials of publications and films

The Government approved the draft Legal Deposit Act, which Minister of Culture Indrek Saar submitted to the Government, and handed it over to the Riigikogu today, on 10 December. The draft legislation aims to update the submission, collection, and storage of publications significant to the Estonian Culture. The draft legislation takes into account future digital developments and covers publications regardless of their form and means of distribution.

Minister of Culture Indrek Saar said that the draft Legal Deposit Act is indeed groundbreaking and serves an example to other countries, because it creates a new approach to the national storage of publications. There will be a favourable ground for savings and cooperation in the public sector as well as the private sector, and also creates an opportunity to develop innovative future services. “Estonia as a pioneer in the digital field has started to regulate the storage of digital source materials of publications and films and making them available by law, as well as established the basis for useful mutual cooperation between the state and the private sector. This means that it is no longer necessary to separately digitise publications and films that will be published from 2017, because digital source materials will be handed over together with the completed publication,” Saar confirmed.

For the readers, the key improvement is the improved accessibility of digital information due to computer terminals that will be established in five major libraries. The computer terminals provide the readers with an opportunity to study a majority of legal deposit copies of new publications without any assistance from the library worker. “This change is also important for the visually impaired, since the developments of the digital archives of the National Library of Estonia will create additional opportunities for accessing publications from the Web Library of the Estonian Library for the Blind,” Saar said.

The Legal Deposit Act influences all parties involved in publishing publications and making them available, such as the authors, publishers, printing houses, audiovisual producers, and libraries that receive a legal deposit copy under current law. For the publishers, the greatest change will take place in the number of compulsory legal deposit copies – it will fall from current eight to four.

All legal deposit copies and digital source materials must be handed over to the National Library of Estonia, which forwards them to the following keepers: the National Library of Estonia itself, the Archives Library of the Estonian Literary Museum, Tallinn University Academic Library, and University of Tartu Library. The process of collecting source materials of Estonian films and storing them in the National Archives of Estonia will become more systematic. “Therefore, the draft legislation reduces unnecessary administrative burden and duplication, and saves resources,” the Minister of Culture explained.

The draft Legal Deposit Act will replace the earlier Legal Deposit Act. The Act is scheduled to be enforced from 1 January 2017.

Source: MINISTRY OF CULTURE via Estonian Review

Lab in Tartu for researching internet of things

AS Eesti Telekom and the University of Tartu Institute of Computer Science have signed a cooperation agreement to promote the creation of new business ideas based on research and development work in the field of internet of things. For this, the students’ study environment and options will also be developed and in March the UT smart environment lab will be opened.

“Until now, the internet has been mainly used for connecting computers and mobile devices to enable communication between people and e-services, but now more and more objects are also being interfaced via the internet. Smart devices which can be controlled online, for example, lights, security devices, kitchen appliances etc.,” was the explanation to what the internet of things is about given by Head of UT Institute of Computer Science Professor Jaak Vilo.

The so called internet of things enables to create a smart environment at home and at work through devices which know how to operate and which can be controlled centrally over the net.

According to Vilo, the internet of things encompasses several research directions: “Currently it presumes creating a smart environment, all standards and programmed interfaces and it is also more and more about security. In addition, options and needs for financial saving and creating efficient services are coming about.”

In order to work on smart device environments, AS Eesti Telekom will equip a sample smart home and smart office in the Institute of Computer Science where research groups and students will work with the installed technology. The lab will be opened in March 2016.

Head of Development at Eesti Telekom Urmo Lehtsalu said that their company can see a great synergy between the research cooperation with the University of Tartu and the recently announced SmartEnCity project.

“In cooperation with the university we can focus on advanced studies of the interaction of various things and security and with the SmartEnCity project, we can apply this high-tech solution right away in real living environment for people. This way we can offer the biggest aggregated value to ordinary people and be certain that we are providing a solution proven to be good,” said Lehtsalu.

Source: UNIVERSITY OF TARTU via Estonian Review

Transferwise founders named European Web Entrepreneurs of The Year

The European Commission today announced the winners of the 2015 European Web Entrepreneurs, or Europioneers Awards. Among this year’s winners are Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann from Estonia.

Hindrikus and Käärmann took home the Web Entrepreneur of the Year title, presented by the Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen, and the President of the European Committee of the Regions Markku Markkula. The winners were announced during Slush Conference in Helsinki where the European web entrepreneur community was represented by 15,000 participants, including 1,700 start-ups, 800 investors, and 650 media representatives. The selection of the winners depended on the public voting and jury input.

Europioneers is organized by the European Commission as part of the Startup Europe initiative, in partnership with Deloitte, LEWIS PR and the European Young Innovators Forum. The objective of the competition is to identify and recognise successful European web initiatives, to promote the role web entrepreneurs play in European society, and to encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs. The award were given for the third consecutive year. In 2014 over 300 nominations were received, voted on by over 2000 members of start-up communities.

Käärmann and Hinrikus are the founders of TransferWise, an Estonian developed and UK-based peer-to-peer money transfer service with headquarters in London and offices in Tallinn and New York. More than 3 billion pounds has been transferred through TransferWise to date.

Source: ERR