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Internet users in India to reach 302 million by Dec: Report

MUMBAI: The number of internet users in India is expected to touch 302 million by the end of the year, registering a growth of 32 per cent over last year, according to ‘Internet in India 2014’ report, jointly published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International.

The report says that it took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million internet users and three years from 100 million to 200 million internet users. However, it took only a year to move from 200 million to 300 million users.

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 leads with more than 600 million internet users while the US 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, the number of internet users in rural India has 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 adds that there is a huge spurt in the number of people accessing the internet on a daily basis in urban India. As on June 2014, 31.5 million (61 per cent) in 35 cities were using the 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 access the internet at least once a week. Out of these, 18 per cent access the internet four to six times a week and 14 per cent access it 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 the internet is search, followed by online communication and social networking.

However, in rural India, entertainment is the primary reason for internet use, followed by communication and social networking.

According to the report, the number of mobile internet users has also witnessed a steady rise, with the mobile internet user base reaching 159 million in October. It is estimated to reach 173 million by the end of December.

In October, there were 119 million users in urban India who accessed the internet using mobile devices. Rural India is not that far behind in this regard, with a base of 40 million mobile internet users in October 2013.