A report yesterday projected the internet user base in India to reach 503 million by 2017, led by a 27.8-per cent annual growth in the number of mobile users.
The overall internet user base (wireline and wireless) in the country, which stood at approximately 350 million as on June 2015, is projected to touch 503 million by 2017, the report titled India on the go-mobile Internet Vision by IAMAI and KPMG said.
It added that the number of mobile internet users were likely touch 314 million in the same period.
''The number of mobile Internet users in India was approximately 159 million in 2014. This number is expected to continue to grow rapidly and reach 314 million by end of year 2017 registering a CAGR of 27.8 per cent for the period 2013-2017,'' the report said.
In India over 50 per cent of internet users were mobile-only internet users, it said.
It added, the 2G user base in India is expected to decline over the coming years with more and more customers expected to migrate to 3G.
According to the report there were approximately 82 million 3G subscribers in India by the end of 2014 and the number was projected to reach 284 million by end of 2017.
"It is imperative to connect Indians through the internet, of which the mobile internet will play a key role since reliable accessibility will be the killer app that will bind the internet ecosystem together, increase adoption and enable innovation in business models around voice and data services," Ashvin Vellody, partner, management consulting, KPMG, India, said.
"While the urban market has not reached its saturation point, it will be non-metros and rural India that will be driving the internet growth in India. And this is where mobile internet will play a pivotal role," Subho Ray, president, IAMAI, said.
"The advent of low-cost smartphones, coupled with low mobile tariffs, has empowered consumers in the hinterland to use data connectivity and we will seeing more usage of internet from these areas in the months to come," he added.