Internet user base in India seen surging 18.53% to 243 million by June 2014

The number of internet users in India is expected to surge 18.53 per cent over the next eight months to reach 243 million by June 2014, with the higher adoption of mobiles as a means to access the internet, according to a report.

Over the same time, India would also overtake the US as the second largest internet base in the world.

According to the I-Cube 2013 report, released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, India would have 243 million internet users by June 2014, at which point of time it is expected to overtake the US as the second-largest internet base in the world.

China is the leader at present in the number of internet users, with over 300 million, with the US having an estimated 207 million.

According to the report, the number of internet users in India had reached 205 million as of October this year, posting a growth of 40 per cent over the last year and by December 2013, it is expected to reach 21.3 crore.

IAMAI chairman Rajan Anandan said 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 it could be hoped that a robust internet ecosystem with a multitude of local and global players and a thriving internet economy would develop, he added.

According to the report, the rise of the internet users has been due mainly to the increasing number of users preferring to shop or pay bills online.

According to Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief analyst, Greyhound Research, factors such as affordable smartphones and low internet pricing on mobile phones had helped this user base to grow.

Currently, at 110 million, the number of people using their phones to access the internet it estimated to reach 130 million by this year-end, according to the report. Companies that use the internet to do business feel that the user base would swell further.

This was the significant landmark because this put India almost at par with the US considering the speed at which smart phone adoption was on the rise, according to Sundeep Misra, founder of VMC Technologies, a company that provides telephony services using cloud computing.

According to others like Neha Dharia, analyst with Ovum, this was just the beginning and India still had a long way to go in terms of internet user base.

The report said, in rural India there were 68 million internet users in October and this was estimated to reach 72 million by the end of this year.