India’s internet user base to become 2nd largest in the world

India will have 402 million Internet users by the end of this year, surpassing the United States, a report has claimed.

“While Internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and 3 years from 100 million to 200 million, it took only a year to move from 300 million to 400 million users. Clearly, Internet is mainstream in India today,” the report says.

It adds: “Currently, India has the third largest Internet user base in the world, but it is estimated that by December, India will overtake the U.S. (as the second largest base).” The number of Internet users will rise to 402 million in December from 375 million in October, according to the trade group Internet and Mobile Association of India.

According to the report by industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India, this number is expected to further surge to 462 million by June next year as more people come online, especially through their mobile devices.

China has about 650 million Internet users, according to the World Bank.

India has seen an apparent Internet revolution in the past couple of years and most people access the net through their mobile phones.

Falling smartphone prices in India explain most of the rise in Internet adoption. Mobile-data use exploded as the average price or smartphones fell to around $150 last year, and many companies now sell entry-level devices for less than $100, while cellular service companies sell Internet packages for as little 11 rupees ($0.17) for 30 megabytes of data. As a result, 94% of Indian Internet users said their cellphone is their primary means to access the web.

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