Indian mobile internet users to hit 236 million by 2016: Report

India will have 236 million mobile internet users by 2016 and this base will hit 314 million by 2017, according to a latest report from  IAMAI & KPMG. The latest report titled “India On The Go – Mobile Internet Vision Report 2017” states that India will have over 500 million internet users by 2017.

three girls chatting with their smartphones

Increased Internet enabled device penetration, decreasing handset prices and data plans tariffs are helping to create a suitable environment for a rapid growth of Mobile Internet in India, said the report. As of June 2015, internet users in India stood at over 350 million. 2G user base in India is projected to decline in the coming years as more and more customers are expected to migrate from 2G to 3G. The 3G user base in India is rapidly gaining market and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 61.3% from 2013-17. Giving insights about the 3G user base, the report revealed that there were approximately 82 million 3G subscribers in India by the end of year 2014 and the number is projected to reach 284 million by end of year 2017.

“With more than 300 million internet users, India has the second largest internet user base in the world. But the internet penetration at 19 per cent (approx) is poor and limits the potential. The next wave of growth in penetration of internet will driven by adoption of mobile internet. The mobile internet growth story would be written by the large population in the hinterland and meaningful and compelling content/ use cases would enable adoption of mobile internet.” He further stated, “It is imperative to connect Indians through internet of which the mobile internet will play a key role since reliable accessibility will be the killer app that will bind the internet ecosystem together, increase adoption and enable innovation in business models around voice and data services.”

said Ashvin Vellody, Partner – Management Consulting, KPMG in India.

Rural India is steadily moving towards a more Internet friendly and exploratory mind-set. Th report stated that the growth in the internet space will come from the non-metro and rural areas. It says that the rural growth story in the coming years will likely be written by 2G technologies. As of 2014, the Active Internet User (AIU) base in rural India was 6.7% of the overall rural population of 905 million and accounted for 61 million users. 4.4% of the total rural population used a mobile device to access the Internet which was only 0.4% in the year 2012.

“While the urban market has not reached its saturation point, it will be non – metros and rural India that will be driving internet growth in India. And this is where mobile internet will be playing a pivotal role. The advent of low cost smartphones coupled with low mobile tariffs has empowered consumers in the hinterland to use data connectivity and we will seeing more usage of internet from these areas in the months to come.”

said Dr. Subho Ray – President IAMAI.

The report concluded saying that 3G and 4G may continue to be primarily an urban phenomenon for the next few years.As of June 2014, nearly 50% of the AIU in rural areas accessed Internet using mobile phones, Community Service Centers (CSC) and Cyber Cafes. 38% of the Active Internet Users use Mobile phone as the main access point.

Author: Sneha Bokil

Sneha Bokil is a tech enthusiast and is currently using OnePlus 3T but she still treasures her Nokia N70 (M). You can follow her on Twitter @snehabokil and on Google+