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There are over 700 million internet users in India — and just as many who don't use it

technology | IST

There are over 700 million internet users in India — and just as many who don't use it

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The report, titled 'Internet in India' and based on an ICUBE 2021 study, found that more than 50 percent of the 692 million active internet users in India are from the rural pockets. The report says "much of the growth continues to be driven by rural India (351 million users) as urban India seems to have hit a plateau (341 million users", and estimates there will be 900 million internet users in India by 2025.

Rural India is driving more than half of the Internet usage in the country, as per a report published jointly by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and data analytics firm Kantar.

The report, titled 'Internet in India' and based on an ICUBE 2021 study, found that more than 50 percent of the 692 million active Internet users in India are from the rural pockets. The report says "much of the growth continues to be driven by rural India (351 million users) as urban India seems to have hit a plateau (341 million users", and estimates there will be 900 million Internet users in India by 2025.
In terms of states, Goa has the maximum Internet penetration while Bihar has the lowest.
(Source: Internet in India 2021, IAMAI- KANTAR)
From a business point of view, the report says, around 346 million Indians are engaged in actual online transactions such as e-commerce and digital payments — more than the entire population of the United States. This was largely driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, which sparked a 51 percent increase in digital transaction in two years.
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The report says entertainment, communications and social media were the top three activities engaged in by Internet users across India. "The penetration of OTT services in rural India is at par with that in urban India, however, the penetration of other digital services such as online gaming, digital commerce and digital payments is still skewed in favour of urban users," the report says.
(Source: Internet in India 2021, IAMAI- KANTAR)
As things stand, the report found, around 762 million Indians have not adopted Internet yet — including 63 percent from rural pockets of the country. "Difficulty to understand the Internet’ continues to be primary deterrent along with lack of awareness, especially in rural India," says the report.
(Source: Internet in India 2021, IAMAI- KANTAR)
The report comes against the backdrop of the government and telecom service providers focusing on increasing the Internet penetration in India, especially in rural India.
On Wednesday, the government approved a package of Rs 1.64 lakh crore to boost ailing state-run telecom service provider BSNL in a bid to help it expand its 4G services to even far-flung areas of the state.
Meanwhile, the 5G auction saw a surprisingly high level of interest in the low-frequency 700 megahertz (MHz) band —  it would helps service providers build a cost-efficient 5G network as the low frequency leads to wider coverage, and will help them cover as wide an area as possible, thanks to the bonus of a high threshold for disruption.
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