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Number of Internet users in India could cross 450 million by June: report

LiveMint logoLiveMint 01-03-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Internet users in the country are expected to be in the range of 450-465 million by June this year, up from 432 million in December last year, a report said on Tuesday.

Of the 432 million users, about 269 million were in the urban areas of the country, the IAMAI-IMRB report said. It added that urban India has close to 60% Internet penetration, reflecting a level of saturation.

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Rural India, with only 17% penetration, still has a large scope of development. “While the growth of Internet usage in India is mainly being fuelled by the rural sector, the urban user base is starting to show signs of levelling out... There are potential 750 million users still in rural India, if only they can be reached out properly,” it added.

The report also found that 51% of urban Internet users (137.19 million) use Internet daily. On the other hand, 242 million, or 90% of the urban Internet users use Internet once a month.

In rural India, 48% (around 78 million) are daily Internet users, while about 140 million (83%) are estimated to use Internet once a month.

‘Lack of awareness on benefits of Internet’ emerged as the main reason for not using Internet among non-users in the country, followed by factors like lack of knowledge of computers, the report said.

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Also, mobile phones are the primary devices for accessing the Internet across demographics. About 77% of urban and 92% of rural users consider mobile as the primary device for accessing the Internet.

While the largest services accessed in urban India are online communications (e-mail etc) and social networking, for rural India, entertainment (video/audio content etc) is the main driver of Internet consumption. E-commerce services like online ticketing or e-tailing (online shopping) are much more prevalent in urban India, while these services clearly haven’t made much inroads in rural India, the report said.

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