By 2017, India Will Have 500 Mn Online Users
The number of Internet users in India is estimated to reach 500 million by 2017, with as many as 400 million of them getting online through mobile phone, according to giant Google.
“There are 350 million Internet users in India, of which 152 million are mobile users. This number is projected to increase to 500 million in 2017, of which 400 million are going to be mobile users,” Ashish Kalsi, strategist, search quality of Google India said at a recent workshop organised by Google and Vox Foundation.
The booming adoption of smartphones is resulting in an enormous surge in the number of mobile internet users in India. According to the latest report from IAMAI, “Mobile Internet In India 2016,” the country will have 371 million mobile internet users by June 2016. India will attract 65 million new mobile internet users coming onboard during the period of six months.
Urban vs. rural
The IAMAI report highlights that 71% of the estimated 371 million mobile internet users in India will belong to Urban area. However, the rural area still holds an enormous potential to drive the future growth of mobile internet in India. The good news is, in 2015, the number of mobile internet users from rural area doubled from 2014, indicating that government initiatives such as Digital India and Make in India are showing some positive results.
Going forward, with the improving mobile infrastructure and the availability of improved high-speed 3G and 4G connectivity, people are shifting to apps and internet for most of their activities. Voice call has seen a decline, as people rather prefer the internet on their mobile phone to make decisions.
For rural India, mobile internet users and publishers are focusing on creating video content in entertainment category nowadays, with experts even predicting that total consumption of mobile data in the rural area would soon outpace urban India.
Smartphones: Growth drivers
In the past one year, India has witnessed a huge growth in the sales of smartphones. Apart from domestic phone companies such as Micromax, Lava and Karbonn, a number of Chinese smartphone manufacturers, likes of Xiaomi, CoolPad, Oppo, among others, resulted in lowering the ASP.
Today, there has been an upsurge in the sub-$150 smartphones in the market. The increased demand for these phones have helped the country to witness the fastest ever smartphone growth to 239 million smartphone users by the end of 2015. The trend would largely be influenced by the adoption of smartphone and rich media content.
“Content is king. What Google does is it gives a level- playing field to all provided the content is sound,” Kalsi said, as he explained the four things needed for a website to be discovered quickly on Google search - accessibility, value, display and great user experience.
In the country of 1.3 billion people, mobile phone subscriptions already reached 1 billion mark, according to reports fromTRAI. The coming years will belong to mobile internet and smartphone users that will create bigger waves in the country.
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