420 million – that is the number of internet users in India, at least, as of June 2017. That is higher than the total US population. It took 10 years for the number of Internet users in India to grow from 10 million to 100 million. Suddenly, back in 2013, the numbers grew by 100 million to 200 million, and in 2014, from 200 million to 300 million.
In the first 6 months of 2015, the number of internet users in India grew by 52 million. The same growth rate is expected to be maintained over the second half of 2015. What is clear from these stats is that many more people in India are taking to the internet over the last 3 years. The internet has finally become accessible to the masses, and not just the classes. India today has the most number of internet users in the world, next to China.
The massive growth of the internet in India is reflected in the mushrooming of several startups in areas such as e-commerce, digital advertising, social media marketing and e-payments. Today, the e-commerce industry is a major player in India.
Young startups such as Flipkart are billion-dollar businesses, and others, such as Snapdeal are not far behind. Amazon too has entered the e-commerce race in India and has been extremely successful so far. E-commerce stores have recorded a 100% annual growth in their GMV or gross merchandise value as well as in their valuation over the last 3 years – which is stunning.
What is also clear is that the growth of internet in India can be attributed to the enormous smartphone sales in India. Over 140 million smartphones were sold in India by the end of 2014, and 460 million more are expected to be sold by 2019 – which is a stunning number, no matter how you look at it. The number of mobile internet users in India was 213 million in June 2014, and should have increased quite substantially since then, although the latest stats are not available as yet.
Now, what is also interesting is that rural India accounts for 45 million of mobile internet users, which is great news, because rural India has always been considered to be behind times. In fact, rural India is expected to account for 39% of the growth in internet usage in India over the foreseeable future.
This has been helped by the use of local languages by smartphone manufacturers and telecom companies. So, one can use the internet in India without knowing English – which has been for long a major barrier. By 2020, the number of mobile internet users is expected to be 730 million – another phenomenal number.
In fact, these numbers reflect the fact that 60% of internet users in India access the internet from their mobile phones. What has helped matters is the spread of inexpensive smartphones, low mobile tariffs and widespread telecom coverage. The mobile phone has made internet mainstream in India as the desktop computer still has a relatively low penetration rate in the country.
Even so, India still has an internet penetration of 27%, which is way behind the US, which has a penetration of 87%, and China, with 51%. Certainly, India still has a long way to go. But there are enough reasons to be optimistic.
One thing would know if you are an Internet user in India is that not all ISPs (Internet Service Providers) offer the same broadband speeds as advertised. Is your ISP short-changing you? Why don’t you test your broadband speed here at DoSpeedTest.com, the most accurate internet broadband speed checking tool you can use?