India may soon overtake US in internet usage
The number of internet users in India reached 205 million in October this year, registering a year-on-year growth of 40% over last year. By December 2013, it is expected to reach 213 million, according to the I-Cube 2013 report, released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International.
The report also estimates that by June 2014, India will have 243 million internet users, at which point of time, it is expected to overtake the US as the second largest internet base in the world. China currently leads with more than 300 million internet users while the US currently has estimated 207 million internet users.
Rajan Anandan, Chairman, IAMAI, says, “The internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and only 3 years from 100 to 200 million. From here on, we can hope to develop a robust internet ecosystem with a multitude of local and global players and a thriving Internet economy. Internet is now, clearly, mainstream in India”.
According to the report, the number of internet users in urban India was 137 million in October and is estimated to touch 141 million by December 2013. Interestingly, rural India has witnessed a y-o-y growth of 58% of active internet users since June 2012.
In rural India, there were 68 million Internet users in October and is estimated to reach 72 million by December 2013.
According to the report, the number of mobile internet users has also witnessed a steady rise, with 110 million mobile internet users in October, and is estimated to reach 130 million by the end of December. In June, there were 91 Million users accessing the internet on mobile devices, with 70.2 million users in urban India. This number rose to 85 million in October and is estimated grow by 47% and reach 103 million by December 2013. Rural India is not that far behind in this regard with a base of 21 million mobile Internet users in June 2013. It reached 25 Million in October 2013 and will touch 27 million by December 2013. Mobile usage and hence, mobile internet usage has seen huge jump from the 2012 penetration levels. Compared to the 0.4% mobile internet users in 2012, the penetration has grown to 2.4%, indicating a substantial growth in the mobile internet user penetration levels.
The report further finds that more than 50% of the urban internet users access internet daily. Remarkably however, this high frequency usage is not restricted to only the youth and the working men; this habit of accessing the internet daily is seen among other demographic segments as well, including older men and non-working women.
In rural India, 70% of the active internet users also access internet using mobile phones, while 32% use internet only through mobile. The community service centers and cyber cafes are the main point of access for 40% of them.
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