The Indian Internet Boom Looks Promising than Ever


The internet penetration in the country is soaring at a rapid pace. A decade ago, internet was considered to be a luxury. However, the concept of internet has changed drastically over the year. The internet has gone mainstream. Amidst all the permutations and combinations taking place in the internet ecosystem, Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in tandem with IMRB International has published a report – Internet in India 2015. The report provides valuable insights about all the things internet, covering its frequent usage, demographic reach, usage by gender, behavior of internet non-users and much more. According to the numbers mentioned in the report, the impressive growth of internet users is on its way to drive India to be one of the fastest growing internet markets globally. New smartphones manufacturers are entering the Indian markets dishing out inexpensive smartphones. The trend act as a pivotal push in driving these numbers even further. India is also poised to jump ahead the United States to be the second-largest population of internet users after China by December. With more and more internet users choosing to access and browse through mobiles and tablets, the falling smartphone prices will further contribute to the growth of internet users in the country. Here are some key excerpts from the IAMAI-IMRB report.

The internet users are growing at a fast pace. The numbers have gone up by 49% from the last year & is expected to reach 426 Million by June 2016. In the last month alone, 317 Million users have accessed the internet in the country. Urban India has been contributing the larger chunk to these numbers. As of October 2015, the monthly internet users in India stand at 209 Million. However, in terms of the growth, internet user numbers in Rural India are turning heads this year. The internet users’ segment in Rural India has witnessed a growth of a huge 77% to reach 108 Million. This figure is poised to touch 117 Million and 147 Million by December 2015 and June 2016 respectively. The Mobile Active Internet Users have surged to 80 Million by October 2015 growing at close to 99% over last year. The Mobile Internet Users are expected to reach the user base of 87 Million by December 2015 and 109 Million by June 2016. Here’s an infographic that depicts a clearer picture.


College going students account for the largest set of monthly active users. The proportion of college going students to the total Monthly Active User base is 32% followed by young men. Nearly 70% of the Internet users access the Internet on a daily basis. This daily user base has gone up by 75% from 2013. On the other hand, 42% of the rural population, which is in 18-30 years age group constitutes to 76% of the rural internet users. The overall penetration of internet users in Urban India is at 51% with 48% penetration for mobile internet users. This has gone up from 29% last year. As of October 2015, out of the 922Mn Indian rural population, 108Mn (12%) are monthly active internet Users. As I mentioned before, the major driver of these numbers is the outburst of smartphones at a cheaper rate. Everything is going mobile. Internet based services such chat, social media, video through mobile has instigated a shift in the internet paradigm. The mobile Internet ecosystem has grown fast & it will continue to grow faster in the coming months. The Mobile Internet Users have surged to 80 Million by October 2015 growing at 99% over last year. The user base of Mobile Internet users in Rural India is expected to reach 87Mn by December 2015 and 109Mn by June 2016.

The Urban cities have been the major contributors to the growing internet user numbers. Penetration of Internet users is the highest in Mumbai followed by Delhi among the Top 8 Metros. The top 8 Metros constitute about 31% of the total Internet user base and this has gone up by 50% over last year. Since last year, the smaller metros have seen a growth of 60% in the monthly active user base. The Non-Metros have been growing at a rate of 47% followed by Small Towns. Here’s an infographic that shows the Internet growth across the urban cities and towns.



For many years, Internet adoption was considered to be in its nascent stage. Below par computer ownership, low quality broadband connections & no connectivity in the far-fetched areas majorly contributed to the cause. However, billions of dollars are being funneled into Indian startups. The majority of these startups ply or will ply their trade on the internet-based platforms. The future looks absolutely promising for the Indian Internet market.



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About Thinking Aloud

“Thinking Aloud” reflects the emerging trends and varied outlook of the rapidly evolving internet and communication sector. An IAMAI publication, this is a part of the market education initiative of the association.

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