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28% of mobile internet users in Dec’15 came from rural India: IAMAI


A report titled ‘Mobile Internet in India 2015’ from the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) states that there are going to be 371 million mobile internet users in India by June 2016. It adds that the country had 306 million mobile internet users in December 2015, of which 219 million were from urban India and registered a 71% growth year over year and 87 million were from rural India, up by 93% year over year.

Note that last quarter, IAMAI had said that the number of internet users in India would cross 400 million in December 2015.

IAMAI’s internet report from November said that 276 million people in India, or 21% of the country’s population accessed the internet on their phones at least once a month. Of this, urban India accounted for 197 million users and the rest from rural areas.

iamai report1

Local content to drive internet user base
Its previous report released in August stated that rural India will drive 75% growth in adding to the internet user base, while urban India will contribute by 16%. The then internet user base would grow by 39% by December 2015, primarily due to content in local language.

Spends on mobile internet growing
The current report mentions that the mobile internet spend of an average monthly bill has increased to 64% in 2015 from 54% in 2014, while the average monthly bill has reduced to up to 18% compared to 2014. It cites that in 2013, the data accounted for Rs 173 and 45% of a total mobile bill, whereas in 2014, it was 54% at Rs 235 in 2014 and 64% at Rs 231 in 2015, in data collected from ~ 72 million mobile internet users in 35 cities. (IMRB I-Cube June 2015)

Also read: The IAMAI-IMRB Mobile Internet research data is questionable

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Purpose of access
Urban Indian internet users use the internet for online communication the most at 80%, followed by social networking 74%, entertainment 30% and online shopping and online ticketing at 13% and 11% respectively. Rural Indian internet users’ primary use of the internet is entertainment at 52%, social networking 39%, communication at 37%, 1% using it for online shopping and 0.4% for online ticketing.

Broadband/wireless Internet users
In November, India had over 317 million users accessing the internet at least once a month, according to the IAMAI’s Internet in India 2015 report. Of this, urban India accounted for 209 million users out of an overall urban population of 414 million people, while rural India accounted for 108 million users out of an overall population of 922 million people. This is approximately around 25% of the country’s population. The report estimates that by June 2016, India will have 426 million internet users. In the same report, it said that 94% of urban internet users accessed internet via a smartphone, 64% accessed it from a laptop/desktop device while only 20% accessed it through tablets. 69% of urban users used the internet on a daily basis.

In April 2015, Pew Research Center released a report on internet access in developing nations, pegging 20% of the Indian population to have internet access.

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