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The use of e-services is growing in the Baltic States, Estonia is a clear leader

With the increasing amount of the domain or internet names, increases the use of e-services. According to the experts of the conference “Baltic Domain Days” in Riga, the 3% annual increase of the number of the Baltic domains .lt, .lv and .ee increases the use of the e-services by 6%. So far, Estonia is the leader with the widest range and use of e-services among the Baltic States, but all Baltic States keep up with the largest economies in Europe in terms of the internet names.

Daiva Tamulionienė, Katrina Sataki Daiva Tamulionienė, Katrina Sataki

Marriage is not yet registered online in Estonia

Head of the Estonian Internet Foundation, which is .ee registry, Heiki Sibul jokes that the only think you cannot do online in Estonia yet, is get married. Estonia is one of the most digitally advanced countries; almost all the services provided by the authorities are transferred to the internet. Estonian government functions without the use of the printed documents.

“In terms of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, Estonia takes high positions in various global ratings. The use of the e-services as well as development of the new services are prompted by the fast internet, electronic ID provided to each Estonian, and possibility to easily become Estonian citizens (e-residents) provided to the foreigners. Now almost all services in Estonia are provided online, only marriage cannot be registered online yet”, – states H. Sibul.

Heiki Sibul, Head of the Estonian Internet Foundation, which is .ee registry Heiki Sibul, Head of the Estonian Internet Foundation, which is .ee registry

With only 1.3 million of physical citizens, Estonia aims to attract up to 10 million of e-residents. It essentially broadens the concept of the state, increases its competitiveness and makes it more attractive for investments with the help of e-services.

Estonia surpasses its neighbours in terms of the internet names for one citizen, even though it has the least amount of the registered domains among the Baltic States. On average, 87 out of 1000 Estonians hold a domain; in Lithuania this indicator is 66 and in Latvia only 63 citizens out of 1000 use a unique internet address.

Why do we need domains?

Currently, there are approximately 114 thousands of the registered Estonian .ee domains, approximately 130 thousands of the Latvian .lv domains and approximately 192 thousands of the Lithuanian .lt domains. The number of domains in other European countries is significantly higher. There are more than 16 million .de domains in Germany, approximately 5.8 million .nl domains in the Netherlands and 3.1 million .it domains in Italy.

Signe Balina, The President of the Latvian Information and Communications Technology Association Signe Balina, The President of the Latvian Information and Communications Technology Association

The President of the Latvian Information and Communications Technology Association Signe Balina explains that no state, nor its citizens, nor business can function without the internet names.

“The increasing number of the internet names is related to the rapid development of the digital economy. In 2006, only 8% of Latvians were shopping online, while in 2016 – 71%. In 2008, 21% of the Latvian citizens used the public e-services, while in 2017, this number increased to 70%. Business in Latvia is catching up: in 2008, only 42% of the Latvian companies had a website, while in 2017, this number increased to 63 %. As we can see, the development of e-services or competitive and innovative business environment is impossible without the internet names”, – notes S. Balina.

The Head of the Network Solutions Department of the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Latvia which is .lv registry Katrina Sataki thinks that Baltic States do not have enough domains; therefore growth is possible even under conditions of a large scale emigration and decrease of population.

The Head of the Network Solutions Department of the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Latvia, which is .lv registry The Head of the Network Solutions Department of the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Latvia, which is .lv registry

“We do not have many domains, in comparison to other countries. The population of the Baltic States is approximately 6 million, but the number of the national domains is less than half a million. However, we should welcome the fact that those, who register, prefer the national domains. On average, approximately 60% (and even 62% in Latvia) of all the registered internet names are national domains identifying the country. Generic .com, .net, .org, .eu domains are less popular”, – says K. Sataki.

National internet names are more popular

The head of the Internet Service Centre DOMREG at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) which is .lt registry Daiva Tamulionienė assures that Lithuanian users also prefer the national .lt domain.

“If trademarks are created, websites of the companies or personal blogs are created, e-services are introduced or e-shops are developed in Lithuania with a focus on the Lithuanian target market, almost in all the cases they choose .lt domain name. National domain helps to identify the location or market more easily, provides more reliability and validity. Moreover, the choice of the Lithuanian domain is caused by the established customer habit to memorise and write the Lithuanian part of the name .lt almost automatically. Of course, the growing international business focused on the export register not only the Lithuanian domain; they also choose the European Union’s .eu or other generic domains”, – states D. Tamulionienė.

Daiva Tamulionienė, Katrina Sataki, Heiki Sibul Daiva Tamulionienė, Katrina Sataki, Heiki Sibul

Small businesses sometimes use only the social networks thus failing to use the advantages of the national internet names for communication. However, in the decreasing effectiveness of communication in the social network, more and more small and growing businesses want to create websites or e-shops with the unique internet name.

The supply of the public e-services is growing

The increase of the use of e-services is influenced not only by the growing number of domains and business activity, but also by the growing supply of the public services. 165 projects were implemented in Lithuania through the EU investments in 2007-2013; their implementation created more than 600 e-services. Currently, e-services are being developed in the areas of health, transport, taxes, public procurement, socio-cultural and other services.

“Registration to your doctor online, checking of the bus timetable, ticket reservation, obtaining of permits or tax declaration, submission of various applications to the institutions and other e-services became very popular due to their convenience and time saving. The increasing number of requests regarding the Lithuanian domains in DNS proves the growing use of the e-services, and increasing number of functions performed online”, – says D. Tamulionienė.

Published 2018-05-04