India, the world’s fastest-growing internet market, added 60 million new users in 2016, according to TRAI’s just-released yearly report. That took India’s internet user-base to 391 million, nearly half of China’s 731 million, at the end of 2016. It currently stands at 432 million as per a IAMAI report.
India and China lead the world in terms of internet users. However, in terms of internet penetration, India’s is one of the lowest at about 30 percent. NASSCOM though estimated in its The Future of Internet in India report that India will have 730 million internet users by 2020. The growth is being driven by the increasing penetration of affordable smartphones in the country, and the easy availability of inexpensive mobile internet. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio earned 6.45% market shares, added 72.16 million subscribers in 2016: TRAI
Over 94 percent internet users access internet through mobile data or wireless dongles, says TRAI. Wi-Fi penetration is still fairly low despite the government’s best efforts to setup Wi-Fi-enabled booths in public places like railway stations and so on. India, however, leads the world when it comes to mobile data consumption as the Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report 2017 indicated.
According to the report, India consumes more than 1.2 billion GB of data every month. That is a 10 times increase from June 2016 when less than 200 million GB of data was being consumed monthly. This meteoric rise in mobile data consumption is triggered in no small measure by Reliance Jio that has drastically reduced data tariffs across the board. ALSO READ: How Reliance Jio slashed mobile data tariffs in India by half: Mary Meeker Report
In terms of wireless broadband users, Jio already leads the market with a 33.1 percent share. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh top broadband usage with a concentration of users in urban users. Overall, urban India has around 60 percent internet penetration, compared to rural India, which has only 17 percent internet penetration. However, it is growing faster than urban India which is gradually reaching a saturation point.