Mumbai tops Indian cities in Internet penetration

by CXOtoday News Desk    Nov 07, 2013


Internet penetration in India is growing at a rapid pace, owing to the phenomenal rise of smartphones and tablets. A recent Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) report reveals that Mumbai has the highest penetration of Internet users in India with more than 12 million, a 45% increase from the previous year.

Delhi ranks second in internet penetration with 8.1 million users followed by Hyderabad at with 4.7 million Internet users. Chennai is fourth with 4.5 million internet users and Kolkata fifth with 4.4 million internet users in the country. Kolkata registered the highest growth of Internet users with 47% year-on-year growth, followed by Mumbai with 45% year-on-year growth and Bangalore with 43% year-on-year growth.

The study conducted across 35 Indian cities included business and home users and showed that the top four metros have a 37% penetration of Active Internet Users.

“Easy access to internet on mobile phones has resulted in greater internet penetration across India, with smartphones available at a range of prices. Most phones now have internet and the many features on these phones will not be available without internet,” says Nilotpal Chakravarti, associate vice-president, IAMAI.

Another report by global consulting firm, McKinsey& Co. stated that Internet has the potential to contribute $100 billion to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2015, which was nearly $30 billion in 2011, with its exponential growth. The report estimated only about 10% of India’s population uses the Internet, which is estimated as 120 million people, but it will overtake the U.S. by 2015 and have the second highest number of internet users after China. The billion dollar internet opportunity will boost India’s GDP because of the number of Internet users that is expected to increase anywhere between 330 and 370 million in the aforesaid period.

[Read more: Internet to accelerate India's GDP by 2015]

Both IAMAI and McKinsey indicated that mobile devices and technologies will drive the growth and adoption of Internet in India. By 2015, nearly 75 per cent of the Internet population will mostly access the Internet on their mobile devices, such as feature phones, smartphones and tablet computers.

IAMAI also sees a surge in mobile internet adoption in smaller cities and rural India. According to the researchers, by the end of this year, there will be 72 million claimed Internet users and 49 million active Internet users in rural India. By June 2014, claimed internet users in rural India will rise to 85 million and active internet users to 56 million, says the report.

[Read: Rural India yet to reap true benefits of the Internet]