West Bank and Gaza - Country Commercial Guide
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-09-13

Overview

The Palestinian Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector employs around 5,000 individuals in 250 companies in the West Bank and Gaza. Around 50% of these companies have partnerships outside the West Bank and Gaza and 40% export to international markets. All types of ICT companies exist including computer hardware and office equipment importers, software development houses, business consulting services, cloud-based software development, automation, mobile computing, digital media, Internet Service Providers, and telecommunication companies. In 2019, total investment in the sector was estimated at $637 million and the sector contributed 4% of GDP. With the development of the Palestinian ICT sector, local demand for computers and peripherals, telecommunication equipment, mobile handsets, outsourcing services and web designing services is growing.

In 2018, the ICT sector took a major step forward with the launch of 3G services in the West Bank and with the introduction of Ooredoo (mobile phone company) phone and data service in Gaza.  Jawwal and Ooredoo, the two mobile phone companies operating in the West Bank and Gaza, have a combined 4.3 million mobile subscribers. Currently, only 2G service is available in Gaza. Paltel is the fixed line operator in the West Bank that currently has around 472,000 subscribers.

Internet serves as an important communication tool within the West Bank and Gaza and with the outside world. Today, around 80% of Palestinian households have home Internet access. Also, 29 high broadband internet providers with relatively high average speed for the region have recently entered the West Bank and Gaza, where there are 375,000 broadband ADSL subscribers. Most Palestinians use the Internet for knowledge, research, studying, business-to-business activities, and entertainment.

In 2019, 33% of Palestinian households owned computers. Most West Bank and Gaza computer hardware companies import directly from international vendors. However, Israel imposes restrictions on ICT imports that are listed as “Dual Use” products. Exports are limited to software, research and development, and outsourcing services. Some software companies have outsourcing and developing projects for regional and international companies.

The Palestinian ICT sector is represented by the Palestinian IT Association of Companies (PITA), a membership-based non-profit organization. With its 170 members, PITA has been very active in representing the interests of its members, developing the Palestinian ICT sector, and increasing public-private sector partnerships.

Leading Sub-Sectors

· Telecommunication equipment

· Computer hardware

· Software

· Networking equipment

· Audio-visual equipment

Opportunities

Good opportunities exist for U.S. exporters of telecommunication equipment, computer networking equipment, cybersecurity, servers, and consumer electronics. Also, good prospects exist for providing 4G service in the West Bank and 3G in Gaza respectively.

Resources

Ministry of Telecommunications & Information Technology

Palestinian IT Association of Companies

Palestinian ICT Incubator

Paltel

Jawwal

Ooredoo Palestine

For further information, please contact:

Assad Barsoum, Senior Commercial Specialist, Assad.Barsoum@trade.gov or +972-2-625-4742.