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Internet users in India poised to reach 300 mn-mark by Dec 2014

Internet users in India are expected to grow 32 per cent in a year and cross the 300 million mark to reach 302 million internet users by December 2014, said a report jointly published by Internet and Mobile Association of India’s (IAMAI) and IMRB International.

It took India more than a decade to move from 10 million internet users to 100 million and 3 years to rise from 100 million to 200 million. However, it took only a year to move from 200 to 300 million users in 2014. This clearly marks the buzz around the internet age in India.

In October 2014, there were 278 million internet users in India. Currently, India has the third largest internet users’ base in the world behind US and China. But it is estimated that by the end of 2014, India will overtake the US as the second largest Internet users base in the world. China currently leads with more than 600 million internet users while the US currently has estimated 279 million internet users.

Internet users in urban India have spiked by 29 per cent from October 2013 to reach 177 million in October 2014. And it is expected to touch 190 million by December 2014 and 216 million by June 2015.

But the trend is more interesting in rural India where internet users have increased by 39 per cent on year to reach 101 million in October 2014. It is expected to reach 112 million by December 2014 and 138 million by June 2015, according to the report.

The frequency of internet access play an important role in determining the behavioural pattern of users in India. A huge spurt has been seen in users accessing the internet on a daily basis in urban India. As on June 2014, 31.5 million of 61 per cent internet 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. While 96 per cent of the internet users are accessing the services at least once a week. Out of these, 18 per cent are online 4 to 6 times a week and 14 per cent 2 to 3 times in a week.

The report also finds that in urban India, for nearly 93 per cent of the respondents, the primary use of internet is Search, followed by online communication and social networking. But in rural India the primary use of internet is entertainment, followed by communication and social networking.

According to the report, the number of mobile internet users has also witnessed a steady rise, with 159 million mobile internet users in October, which is expected to rise to 173 million by the end of December, 2014. In October, there were 119 million users accessing the Internet on mobile devices, in urban India. Rural India is not that far behind in this regard with a base of 40 million mobile Internet users in October 2013.