The number of internet users in India would reach 302 million by December, 2014, registering a Y-o-Y growth of 32 per cent over last year, according to a report 'Internet in India 2014', jointly published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International.
In October 2014, 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.
China currently leads with more than 600 million internet users while the US currently has estimated 279 million internet 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 to 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 report further finds that there is a huge spurt in the number of people accessing internet on a daily basis in urban India. As on 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. 96 per cent of the internet users are accessing the medium at least once a week. Out of these, 18 per cent access internet four to six times a week and 14 per cent access two to three times a week.
The report also finds that in urban India, for nearly 93 per cent of the respondents, the primary use of internet is search, followed by online communication and social networking. However, in rural India, entertainment is the primary reason for internet usage, followed by communication and social networking.
According to the report, 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 inernet users in October 2013.
The Internet and Mobile Association of India [IAMAI] was established in 2004 by the leading online publishers, but in the last ten years has come to effectively address the challenges facing the digital and online industry including mobile content and services, online publishing, mobile advertising, online advertising, e-commerce and mobile and digital payments among others.