India had 205 million Internet users in October and that number is expected to reach 213 million by the end of this year, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International report highlights. Out of the total Internet users, 110 million users accessed Internet from mobile devices with 25 million users from rural areas, which shows that the high penetration of affordable smartphones and relatively lower data tariffs are effectively pumping the growth of Internet usage across segments in India.
A few months after ComScore reported India had surpassed Japan in the number of Internet users, this report also shows that India continues to have the third largest Internet user base in the world, while China leads with 300 million Internet users, followed by the US with 207 million users. However the report estimates that India will overtake the US by recording over 243 million Internet users by June 2014. It is expected that the user base in urban areas will cross 141 million and in rural is likely to cross 72 million by the year-end. Currently, there have been 137 million Internet users in urban areas while rural areas now have 68 million of Internet users.
According to the report, since June the mobile Internet user base has increased by over 19 million to reach 110 million in October. The number of mobile Internet users in urban areas in India has increased from 70.2 million in June to 85 million in October, and is further estimated to grow by 47 percent to reach 103 million by December this year.
Rajan Anandan, chairman, IAMAI, has said that “The Internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and only 3 years from 100 to 200 million. From here on, we can hope to develop a robust Internet ecosystem with a multitude of local and global players and a thriving Internet economy. Internet is now, clearly, mainstream in India.”