With the growing number of internet users, the Indian market has infatuated the world’s mobile internet leaders. A recently published report on the 2nd of November by IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India) reveals the Internet services are used 112 million people. It is believed that by the end of the year, the figures will reach 121 million.
Last week at the GSMA Mobile Asia Congress in Hong Kong, Vaughan Smith, VP of Corporate Development at Facebook, discussed their strategy on making India its largest market. Mr. Smith further stated that the Indian market is currently #3 in terms of active users on Facebook after the United States and Indonesia, respectively.
However, India’s fast growing market, large consumer base, and uncensored environment has lured the many of the world’s social media companies into making India their new target for dominance. As a result, this has turned the Indian social media market into a survival of the fittest zone.
Further, at the Mobile Asia Congress, Bharti Airtel‘s CEO, Sanjay Kapoor, revealed that there exists about 700 million potential rural internet users in India that still remain untapped. He talked about the plans his company had for securing these customers and showed an interest in possibly co-operating with Facebook to accomplish this goal.
- Internet usage will reach 121 million by the end of 2011.
- Internet usage growth in India is coming more from rural than urban populations.
- In India, only 50% of users use the Internet for gathering information while 5 million internet users use the Internet for shopping reasons.
- Currently China leads in number of useres with around 485 million. The United States has about 245 million users. The Indian government believes that in 5 years India will have around 600 million Internet users.
- 48% of the Internet users in India are using cyber cafes to surf the net while 37% of the users are accessing the Internet at home.
- Every month about 5 to 7 million internet new users come online in India.
Dr. Subho Ray, President of IAMAI, said, “Two things are absolutely clear from the survey. First, the internet density is very poor in top metros in spite of awareness, education and infrastructure. Delhi and NCR for example has only 5 million active users with a population base of 20 million. Secondly, internet is now clearly and firmly a small town phenomenon”.
While 3G and 4G have yet to be fully introduced and accepted into the Indian market, Internet usage in India is growing at a faster speed than any other country. That said, there are still many challenges ahead as carriers look for a way to capitalize on India’s massive, but poor and isolated populace.