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India to be the Largest Internet Using Country in the World by 2015
India to be the Largest Internet Using Country in the World by 2015
By: Sahil Shah

With a current statistic of over 112 million Internet users in September 2011, a recent report by IAMAI and IMRB reveals that India will reach 121 million Internet users by the end of this year. This denotes that fact that the Internet population in India has grown by 6% every month in the last quarter. Two major reasons for such a growth is the increase in Internet penetration in the country and availability of affordable personal computers.

Talking to Mr. Subho Ray, President, Internet and Mobile Association of India, he said that, “We have achieved a critical mass and this will usher in a new stage of growth for our economy. Within the next four to five years, India can become the largest Internet using country in the world.” Certainly with the way India is growing in terms of the number of Internet users, it will surely be atleast amongst the top countries with the most number of Internet users.

Following are some number crunching excerpts from the report:

  • The forecast for such a growth by December 2011 states that out of 121 million, 97 million would be active Internet users who access Internet at least once in a month. This is a very good percentage of active users compared to other countries like US and China
  • Of the 97 million active Internet users, 73 million will be from cities and the rest (24 million) from rural villages
  • Of the 121 million users who claimed to have used Internet in the past, there will be 92 million Internet users from the urban parts of the country and 29 million will represent rural users. This again is a function of availability of infrastructure in the urban parts of the country
  • According to the study, around 37 percent of users access the Internet from home, 23 percent from cyber cafes, 22 percent from office, nine percent from mobile devices and rest from schools and other centres. This clearly marks how affordable the Internet has become to the households of the country
  • Youngsters in India continue to drive the Internet Usage
  • In usage of School Going Kids has seen a substantial rise.This opens up the market for children aged below 18 year of age.
  • Internet usage in Smaller towns continue to spike their dominance over Top 8 metros with a combined usage of more than 60%
  • Penetration in Lower SECs continues with 25% with people from SEC C status and 11% for the ones with SEC D and E status
  • Emails, Education, Social Networking, Music and Text chatting are the most popular activities amongst Urban Internet users
  • Of 79 million active Internet users, 87% of Urban Internet users use internet at least once a week

The National Telecom Policy-2011 has set a target of achieving 175 million broadband connections by the year 2017 and 600 million by the year 2020. This will be at minimum 2 Mbps download speed and also making available higher speeds of at least 100 Mbps on demand.The policy intends to provide high speed and high quality broadband access to all village panchayats through optical fibre by the year 2014 and progressively to all villages and habitation. This move by the National Telecom is to increase the Internet penetration in the core rural and semi urban areas in the country that has the maximum population. Unlike mobile phones, Internet will still take time to spread across the various parts of the country. This is mainly due to the absence of a strong infrastructure, right from electricity to an extensive landline network.

Nevertheless, a lot of efforts have been put in place and the future of Internet in India seems to be bright. With the current trend it is very easy to predict that India will be the top country in the world with the highest number of Internet users. Do you think this is possible or still the likes of US & China will keep overtaking India? Do let us know in the comments section below.