India to surpass the U.S. as the second largest internet market

It is not a secret that India is the fastest growing market for smartphones an achievement that has seen a number of international companies making a rush to tap into the country’s massive market potential. The country’s mobile internet usage is poised to clock highs of 213 million this year a milestone that should entice more companies to pursue growth opportunities that seem endless.

Growth in Rural Areas

The number of mobile internet usage as of the end of 2014 stood at 173 million according to Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The level of internet penetration is especially growing fast in rural areas as smartphones continue to be cheaper much to the benefit of local communities.

Rural areas are expected to account for 49 million of the total people using the internet by March of this year with the number expected to clock highs of 53 million by June. The rate of internet penetration in the rural areas is estimated to be growing by 33% as of October 2014. Urban areas are expected to account for a large percentage of mobile internet usage with the number expected to clock highs of 160 million users by June, up from 143 million as of March.

Increase in Monthly Bills

Increased number of people using the internet has on the other hand resulted in the average monthly bill growing by 13% to Rs 439. Mobile internet spending has also increased by 36% to Rs 235. The report also shows that more than half of the mobile internet users are willing to spend more than Rs 100 but less than Rs. 500.

There is belief that the pace at which the demand for internet is growing, India could surpass the U.S as the second largest internet market in the world. The IAMAI report had indicated that internet usage could have clocked highs of 302 million (Mobile Broadband) by the end of 2014 but fell short, coming in at 278 million. The research firm now expects internet usage to clock highs of 354 million by June of this year.