The number of people who use the Internet in the country is expected to increase at a phenomenal pace over the next 5 years. Although the penetration of personal computers and the Internet is still expected to be very low, a very high number of Indians are expected to log onto the Internet from their mobile phones, thanks to growth in Mobile Telephony.
Lets look at where India stands currently when it comes to Mobile users and pro
Two reasons for this are –
- 635 million mobile phone subscribers present in the country (June 2010) out of which more than 16 million access Internet on their phones (2009)
- The recent 3G spectrum allotted by the government worth more than Rs 67,000 cr has opened greater possibilities for Internet penetration throughout the country
So what are the biggest challenges facing Internet penetration in India currently?
- Penetration of Internet in India would still be low until the different sites are ‘Indianized’ (that is made local) as there are language and literacy barriers across the nation
- Local content sites in India are still coming up like BigAdda, Ibibo, SiliconIndia, Bharat Student etc. But Google, Facebook, Orkut and others still rule in terms of unique visitors, higher frequency etc.
- Certain hardware changes may have to be done with time to voice based gadgets etc
- However rich Indians are becoming, making them to spend money online in terms of subscription, fees, e–commerce etc is expected to be a very tough proposition
80% of the Internet users in India still access it just for half an hour a day. But the numbers who use it for more time is increasing slowly but surely. There are certain things / content which Indians most regularly access on the Internet –
- Matrimonial sites – Opening up of new sites like Bharat Matrimony, Shaadi.com etc
- Job Hunting – Almost 70% of the Indians who are online register for job alerts as is shown by the Google search trends
- Social Networking – Almost 70% of Indians who are online access social networking sites / platforms
Some of these statistics are really interesting for marketers and businessmen alike. The fact of more Indians expected to access Internet from mobile phones could be the biggest differentiator for India from other BRIC nations.