The total number of internet users in India would reach 302 million by December 2014, registering a Y-o-Y growth of 32 per cent over last year, according to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International. In October this year, there were 278 million internet users in India.
It means that by that time, India will overtake the US as the second-largest internet base in the world. China currently leads with more than 600 million internet users, while the US has 279 million.
In India internet took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and three years from 100 to 200 million. However, it took only a year to move from 200 to 300 million users.
Urban: According to the report, the number of internet users in urban India has grown by 29 per cent from October 2013 to reach 177 million in October 2014. It is expected to reach 190 million by December 2014 and 216 million by June 2015. The report further finds that there is a huge surge in the number of people accessing internet on a daily basis in urban India.
As on June 2014, 31.5 million (61 per cent) users in 35 cities were using internet on a daily basis. The daily user base has gone up by 51 per cent from June 2013. Also, 96 per cent of the internet users are accessing internet at least once a week. The primary use of internet for users in urban India is search, followed by online communication and social networking.
Rural: In comparison to last year, in rural India, internet users have increased by 39 per cent to reach 101 million in October 2014. This number is expected to reach 112 million by December 2014 and 138 million by June 2015. What this means is that the total number of internet users in the country by June 2015 could increase to 354 million.
In rural India, entertainment is the primary reason for internet usage, followed by communication and social networking.
The report also mentions that the number of mobile internet users has also witnessed a steady rise (with 159 million mobile internet users in October 2014), and is estimated to reach 173 million by the end of December this year. In October this year, there were 119 million users accessing the internet on mobile devices, in urban India. In comparison, rural India had a base of 40 million mobile internet users during the same time.