India to cross 300 million Internet users by Dec'14

Internet users in India would rise 32 per cent over last year to touch 302 million by December 2014, as the net emerges as the main in the country. In October, there were 278 million internet users in India.

Currently, India has the third-largest internet user base in the world but it is estimated that by December 2014, India will overtake the US as the second largest internet user base in the world, according to a report 'Internet in India 2014', jointly published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International.

China currently leads with more than 600 million internet users, while the US currently has estimated 279 million internet users.

Internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and three years to double from 100 to 200 million. However, it took only a year to move to 300 million from 200 users.

According to the report, the number of internet users in urban India has grown by 29 per cent from October 2013 to reach 177 million in October 2014. It is expected to reach 190 million by December 2014 and 216 million by June 2015. Significantly, compared with last year, in rural India, Internet users have increased by 39 per cent to reach 101 million in October 2014.

It is expected to reach 112 million by December 2014 and 138 million by June 2015, the study said.

According to the report, there is a huge spurt in the number of people accessing internet on a daily basis in urban India. As of June 2014, 31.5 million (61 per cent) in 35 cities were using internet on a daily basis. The daily user base has gone up by 51 per cent from June 2013. About 96 per cent of the internet users are accessing it at least once a week. Out of these, 18 per cent access the net 4-6 times a week and 14 per cent access it 2-3 times a week.

In urban India, nearly 93 per cent of the respondents primary internet for search, followed by online communication and social networking. However, in rural India, entertainment is the primary reason for net usage, followed by communication and social networking.

The number of mobile internet users has also witnessed a steady rise, with 159 million mobile internet users in October, and is estimated to reach 173 million by the end of December. In October, there were 119 million users accessing the internet on mobile devices in urban India. Rural India is not that far behind in this regard with a base of 40 million mobile Internet users in October 2013.