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India to go past US to become 2nd largest Internet base

IAMAI-IMRB survey estimates that India will have 243 million Internet users by June 2014

K Rajani Kanth & Itika Sharma Punit  |  Hyderabad/Bangalore 

India is likely to overtake US as the second largest base on the globe after China by June 2014, a report released by industry body and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and market research firm IMRB International said.

According to the report released on Wednesday, India will have 243 million by June 2014, as against 205 million in October 2013 and 190 million in June 2013. Internet user base in India is expected to rise to 213 million by December 2013.

China currently leads with over 300 million internet users, followed by the US, which is estimated to have 207 million internet

"The Internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and only three years from 100 to 200 million. From here on, we can hope to develop a robust Internet ecosystem with a multitude of local and global players and a thriving Internet economy. Internet is now, clearly, mainstream in India,” Rajan Anandan, chairman, IAMAI said.

Interestingly, rural India has witnessed a year-on-year growth of 58% of active Internet since June 2012. In rural India, there were 68 million Internet users in October and is estimated to reach 72 million by December 2013.

The report further finds that more than 50% of the urban Internet users access Internet daily. Remarkably however, this high-frequency usage is not restricted to only the youth and the working men. This habit of accessing the Internet daily is seen among other demographic segments as well including older men and non-working women, it stated.

In Rural India, according to the report, 70% of the active Internet users also access Internet using mobile phones, while 32% use Internet only through mobile. The community service centres and cyber cafes are the main point of access for 40% of them.

First Published: Wed, November 13 2013. 13:48 IST