Internet Users in India will cross 300 million mark by December 2014 according to ‘Internet in India 2014’ report jointly published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International. The year on year growth rate registered stands at impressive 32 percent.
The acceleration of internet growth in India can be gauged from the fact that India took 10 years to move from 10 to 100 million. It took 3 years to move from 100 to 200 million , whereas the next 100 million (from 200 to 300M) milestone was achieved in just 1 year. Even if the same growth is maintained, India will reach 500 million users before end of 2016.
In comparison, China has around 650 million internet users accounting for around 43% of their population. United States has roughly 279 million users accounting for roughly 47 percent of their population.
At 302 million internet users by end of December 2014, India will overtake (if not already) United States as the second largest country in the world in terms of number of internet users with penetration of around 24 percent.
The report states that the healthy growth in internet users has been driven by rural Indians who are now increasingly accessing internet either on their mobile phones or computers. Rural India registered a growth rate of 39 percent to reach 101 million users by October 2014, whereas urban India grew by 29 percent to reach 177 million by October 2014.
By end of December 2014, Urban India will have 190 million internet users (63%), while rural India will have 112 million (37%).
Internet Users Growth in India (Rural and Urban)
[Source: IAMAI-IMRB I-cube estimates]
According to the report, 52 million new internet users will be added in first six months of 2015. Urban and Rural India is expected to added equal number of users (26 million each). This also means that India will be adding close to 9 million internet users every month!
When it comes to frequency of internet usage, the report finds that a good 61 percent of users are daily users. About 18 percent access internet several times a day, 10 percent users atleast once a day and 33 percent access on all 7 days.
Most of the users access internet for general search, social networking browsing and entertainment. Interestingly 61 percent access internet for online shopping and 63 percent access to do online transactions.
Growth of Mobile Internet
According to the report around 173 million or 57 percent of Indian internet users access internet from their mobile phones. The percent of mobile internet users has grown more rapidly than traditional broadband users. 49 million new mobile internet users have been added between Oct 2013 to Oct 2014.
The tremendous growth of internet users in India is surely a great sign for tech and online companies in India.