The number of Internet users in India is expected to cross the 300 million mark by the end of this year, overtaking the US as world’s second-largest Internet market.
According to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, the number of Internet users in India is expected to grow 32 per cent to 302 million this year from 213 million at the end of December 2013.
Presently, India has the third-largest Internet user base in the world. While China leads with more than 600 million Internet users, the US has an estimated 279 million users. It is estimated, the report said, that by December 2014, India will overtake the US as the second largest Internet users’ base in the world.
The user base in India is further estimated to grow to 354 million by June 2015.
“The Internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and 3 years from 100 million to 200 million. However, it took only a year to move from 200 to 300 million users. Clearly, Internet is mainstream in India today,” IAMAI-IMRB said in a statement.
The report said of the 278 million users Indian had in October this year, 177 million are in urban India, higher by 29 per cent from last year. In rural India, the number of Internet users increased by 39 per cent to reach 101 million in October 2014.
About 119 million users access the Internet on mobile devices in urban India, while rural mobile Internet user base stood at 40 million in October this year. This is further estimated to touch 128 million (urban) and 45 million (rural) by December-end, it said