Mobile Government in Jordan: Is It a Step in the Right Direction?

Mobile Government in Jordan: Is It a Step in the Right Direction?

Sultan Al-masaeed (Brunel University, UK) and Steve Love (Brunel University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8358-7.ch039
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Abstract

Mobile government (M-government) is a new delivery channel for governments to provide timely information and services ubiquitously to residents, businesses and other government departments through mobile devices. Developing countries have a higher mobile penetration rate than the fixed line internet rates which opens doors of opportunities for these countries to bridge the digital gab and gain a better reach through M-government. This paper measures the Jordanian citizens' awareness of launching a mobile government (M-government) portal in Jordan and investigates their attitude towards it. Furthermore, this study captured the government perspective in regards to launching the mobile government portal and citizens' awareness of that. The results showed that Jordanians have a positive attitude towards mobile government; additionally the results also identified the main barriers of using mobile internet and electronic government (E-government) services in Jordan and proposed a success factors model for mobile government in Jordan.
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1. Introduction

The global spread of mobile phones has been faster than any other information technology with total mobile subscriptions reaching almost 6 billion by end 2011(International Telecommunication Union website, 2012). Developing countries are trying to reach out to their citizens because mobile government brings lots of opportunities to these countries.

Developing countries have a higher mobile penetration rate than the fixed line internet rates which opens doors of opportunities for these countries to bridge the digital gap and gain a better reach through M-government. There was a rapid increase of mobile users worldwide in the last few years compared to internet users especially in the developing countries as illustrated in Figures 1 and 2.

Figure 1.

Internet users per 100 inhabitants, 2000-2010

Figure 2.

Mobile cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, 2000-2010

The percentage of the world's population covered by a mobile cellular signal increased by 29% in the coverage area between the years 2003 and 2009 as we can see below in Figure 3.

Figure 3.

Percentage of the world's population covered by a mobile cellular signal in the years 2003 and 2009

Number of mobile phone subscriptions worldwide rose from 1.0 billion in 2001 to 6 billion in 2011 and the mobile phone penetration rate rose globally from less than 20% in 2001 to 86% in 2011. Most of the growth has come from the developing countries, which accounted for more than 80% of the new mobile subscriptions added in 2011(International Telecommunication Union website, 2012).

Mobile phone penetration in Jordan rose from less than 20% in 2001 to 118.2% in 2011as we can see in Figure 4. Jordan achieved a higher penetration rate that most of other areas in the world as illustrated in Figure 5.

Figure 4.

Mobile telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants/Jordan. Source: International telecommunication union website.

Figure 5.

Mobile penetration rate comparisons. Source: International telecommunication union website.

Mobile penetration in Jordan is considered to be one of the highest in the region, reaching 118.2 in 2011, most Jordanian families are using mobile phones and some users may have more than one line. Comparing this with Jordanian families who have Internet in their homes, the Internet penetration in Jordan is still behind the desired level and needs to be alleviated substantially. Table 1 and Figure 6 show a comparison between households who own mobile phones, land lines, PCs and internet access.

Table 1.
Comparison: Mobile phone, land line, PC and internet access. Source: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Department of Statistics (DOS). Household Expenditures and Income Survey_2008.
City NameHousehold Who Own Mobile TelephoneHousehold Who Own Telephone LineHouseholds Who Own Internet AccessHouseholds Who Own Personal Computer
Ajloun94.416.42.331.6
Amman94.546.913.645.2
Aqaba96.222.93.645.7
Balqa92.124.33.923.8
Irbid93.830.14.333.2
Jarash93.27.05.118.6
Karak89.125.53.830.7
Maan90.816.21.933.3
Madaba94.520.71.828.0
Mafraq92.915.22.517.8
Tafiela94.419.00.233.2
Zarqa93.324.44.631.3

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