ICT & Smart city

On one side, there is the IT export powerhouse responsible for generating approximately $1.4 billion in exports. On the other side, there is the city of Riga, the largest in the Baltics, presenting an exciting opportunity to cultivate 'Meta city Riga.' This envisioned hub will encompass educational, recreational, and various other prospects. 

The platform is tailored for urban planning, development, and the cultivation of a tangible presence. This environment will empower startups to trial their innovations with initial clientele. Additionally, Latvia boasts prominent quantum scientists who specialize in software, particularly algorithms. As quantum science edges closer to commercialization in the market, Latvia is poised to be among the pioneers, providing a fertile ground for working with quantum algorithms.

 

Main subsectors in ICT & Smart city​​​​​
  • IT support, Telecom, Software development, Cloud solutions, AI, Automation & Robotics;
  • Big data, Smart energy, IoT, Smart transport, Smart infrastructure and surveillance, Smart health care
Fast facts
  • It takes maturity to be a leader. Latvia ranks 9th as the country in the EU with the highest maturity in e-government, according to the European Commission (EC) annual eGovernment Benchmark. We are also 5th in the EU in the quality and usage of digital public services.
  • According to Accenture’s latest economic modeling analysis 5G will add up to 2 billion EUR to Latvian GDP and has potential to create up to 40k jobs. But we are ready for more, as operational 5G base stations are set to work.
  • Latvia is amongst the first countries globally to implement the 5G network. We are 18th in Europe in the 5G Readiness Index and 2nd among Baltic countries! What does it even mean? Imagine uninterrupted 5G coverage for all urban areas and main terrestrial transport paths. 5G use cases include mobility, drones, public safety, big data, and AI.
  • As we have premium, high-speed internet available in our country, our people love it and use it in leaps and bounds. The statistics show that 89.7% of the Latvian population use the internet daily (2021). We are 5th in the EU in high-capacity network coverage (% of households in 2021).
  • Also, our government understands the importance of big data, smart energy, IoT, as developing the IT sector is a strategic priority of a governmental policy. You can get a glimpse of how the city of the future looks like already, as we have specialized urban innovation zones for Smart City solution testing. And let's not forget about the utilized cross-sectoral cooperation ecosystem. 
Industry statistics

 

  • Latvia is the leader in exporting telecommunications services in the Baltic States and has 1.5 billion EUR ICT export value (2021).
  • As ICT is one of the fastest-growing industries in Latvia, sometimes the local workforce is not enough. Therefore, 949 working permits were issued for foreign IT professionals in 2020.
  • The ICT sector contributes to technological progress, output, and productivity growth. In Latvia, the ICT industry demonstrates 30% profit growth YoY. In our country, we observe 5% added value growth YoY. ICT sector contributes 6% of total GDP (2020).
  • Many of our ICT products and services are innovative and patent-pending, placing us amongst the TOP 20 in patent activity globally.
Employment and education

 

  • Digitalization and ICT are changing our everyday lives and creating new opportunities for both businesses and employees. There are 39k people employed in the ICT sector in Latvia, and a growing number of ICT enterprises – 7056 in 2020!
  • ICT specialists are in demand throughout the world. Latvia can help filling out those vacancies as it is #3 in Europe in terms of ICT students per 1 M population. Our students are technologically savvy, digital-natives, so no wonder that 3% of all first-year students choose to study ICT, 63% of those are in computer sciences.If you want to pursue higher education in Latvia, you can choose one of 52 higher education institutions. Brilliant and progressive, ICT students take up 6179 out of this 77k student pool. 
  • We always look for best practices and implement them whenever we can. The University of Latvia (LU) and Riga Technical University (RTU), in cooperation with the Buffalo University (the USA), developed the Baltic IT Leaders Excellence Bachelor Program in Computer Science and Organizational Technology. ICT study programmes are comprehensive and forward-thinking, allowing students to study robotics, Big data analysis, AI, cybersecurity, telecommunications, and electronics.
Industry leaders
  • SAF tehnika is one of the world’s leading producers of microwave point-to-point radios and field-optimized portable spectrum analyzers, and 99% of the company’s production is being exported to more than 130 countries worldwide.
  • Tet is one of the most experienced companies in Europe, providing integrated and innovative solutions in IT, telecommunications, and outsourced business processes. Besides that, Tet develops such projects as Claara, the first TV advertising and large-scale audience analytics online tool in the Baltics, and manages a launch platform Overkill for start-ups and more.
  • LMT is a mobile telecommunications operator and market leader in Latvia, currently amongst the most efficient mobile data network providers and 5G implementers worldwide. LMT has been recognized internationally as Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough, European 5G Pioneer, and nominated in Global Mobile Awards 2019 among such companies as Deutsche Telecom, Verizon, and Ericsson.
  • MikroTik provides hardware and software for Internet connectivity in most countries worldwide, for example, for Mitsubishi Motors, Siemens, Hewlett-Packard, Ericsson, Motorola, and is even present in Mount Everest and used for travels to Mars. World Intellectual Property Organization has awarded MikroTik with WIPO IP Enterprise Trophy for innovative use of the IP system by the enterprise and successful corporate strategies for promoting respect for IP.
  • Zabbix is one of the most demanded monitoring products in IT globally, used in Brazilian bank security systems, Japanese machine making, and world-known telecommunication companies, large retailers, airports, and ministries. The company has managed to reach clients without much investment in marketing because Zabbix speaks for itself.
  • Tilde provides localization services, develops custom machine translation systems, and offers online terminology tools for a wide range of languages - even Facebook and Skype use Tilde’s virtual assistants. For three consecutive years, Tilde has won the “Olympics” of machine translation technology – the WMT 2019 competition.
  • Lightspace technologies are global leaders in multi-focal accommodating 3D AR headsets and glasses-free future 3D image displays. The main areas for 3D image technologies are medical data 3D visualization, such as real-time 3D microscopy, image-guided surgery, diagnostics, airspace, and mission control with 3D visualization. Car wind-screen 3D heads-up displays (HUD), gaming, and augmented reality 3D headsets also use it.
  • VEFRESH is an innovation movement established once the district’s technology leaders joined forces with real estate developers and Riga municipality-owned culture venue VEF Kultūras pils. It aims to redevelop the VEF district as an innovation sandbox where corporations, startups, and the public sector can prototype and test their latest public space solutions. VEFRESH works closely with the City of Riga and the Ministry of Economics of Latvia to develop the VEF district as Latvia’s first smart city innovation district.
  • The first of the smart city solutions in Sigulda municipality was a mobile app that has integrated the declared population identification card system with up-to-date possibilities for obtaining information about municipality-related topics.
  • The State Public Traffic Safety Directorate (CSDD) uses the FITS (“Future Intelligent Transport Systems”) ITEMS, which significantly improves road safety and saves lives. FITS ITEMS provide uniform management and processing of sensors and data in the transport sector, taking advantage of the latest cloud computing and AI. For more information about FITS ITEMS visit: https://traffic.wearedots.com/.
GBS sector in Latvia

 Global Business Service (GBS) sector is rapidly developing in Latvia. Our capital city Riga is the emerging GBS location in Europe. Riga provides GBS companies with opportunities to expand and offers competitive conditions and an excellent business environment for new investors. To get further information on GBS sector in Latvia click here.

 

 Downloads

ICT Fact Sheet

ICT in Latvia

Smart city in Latvia

Contacts

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