India’s Internet journey a study in contrasts!

By ZRG | Last Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 18:57

Zee Research Group / Delhi

Although India ranked this year third in the number of active users next only to China and US, yet the overall Internet penetration in the country is a mere 11 per cent.

India on last count had 120 million active Internet users, up from 81 million users in 2010. Of the 10 top countries on active number of users, India is at the bottom in regard to levels of penetration achieved.

India has taken more than a decade to cross the 100 million mark Internet connections with just about 1.4 million users in 1998. The country achieved the 100 million mark in 2010 and thereafter the growth has been relatively faster.

The Internet connectivity has of late been fueled by the ever growing popularity of smart phones in the country. There were about 18 to 20 million smart phones in 2012 and the figure is estimated to grow to 30 million by 2016. India has already set in motion the process to launch 4G in the country.

According to 2013 global ‘Internet World Stats’ report, around 2.7 billion people are using the Internet world wide which corresponds to 39 percent of the world’s population.

China has been ranked first in high internet penetration rate of 40 per cent and an active user base of 511 Million. China is followed by United States with 240 million users while Japan and Brazil trail India with 101 and 89 million active users respectively.

Globally Europe is the region with the highest Internet penetration rate in the world (75 percent), followed by the Americas (61percent). In Africa, 16 percent of people are using the Internet – only half the penetration rate of Asia and the Pacific. In gender wise comparison more men than women use the Internet globally, 37 percent of all women are online, compared with 41 per cent of all men. This corresponds to 1.3 billion women and 1.5 billion men globally.

The developing world is home to about 826 million female Internet users and 980 million male Internet users. The developed world is home to about 475 million female Internet users and 483 million male Internet users. The gender gap is more pronounced in the developing world, where 16 percent fewer women than men use the Internet, compared with only two per cent fewer women than men in the developed world.

Exhibit 1.1

Countries Internet Penetration in % Active users (in Millions) 2013 (Estimate)
China 40 511
United States 78 240
India 11 120
Japan 80 101
Brazil 47 89
Russia 50 70
Germany 84 67
France 80 52
United Kingdo 84 51
Nigeria 30 47

Exhibit 1.2

The gender gap: men and women online, totals and penetration rates, 2013 (Estimate)
  Men  internet users Women Internet users
Developed 74% 80%
Developing 29% 33%
World 37% 41%

More men than women use the Internet: globally, 37% of all women are online, compared with 41% of all men. This corresponds to 1.3 billion women and 1.5 billion men.

Exhibit 1.3

Households with Internet access, 2013*
Areas Developing countries in Millions Developed countries in millions
Households with Internet access, 2013* 1333 484

In 2013, 41% of the world’s households are connected to the Internet. Half of them are in the developing world, where household Internet penetration has reached 28%.



First Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 17:20

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