The number of mobile internet users in India is expected to grow by 55% to 371 million by June 2016, according to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The report states that this growth is driven by strong adoption in rural areas. It also says that the mobile internet user base in the country has been steadily increasing from 238 million in June, to 306 million by the end of December 2015.
As per the report, out of the 306 million users, 219 million were from the urban areas of the country, with a user base growth of 71% year-on-year. The user base in rural India grew by 93% year-on-year to reach 87 million by the end of December 2015. The report also found out that 80% of mobile internet users in urban areas mostly use the service for online communication. 74% said that they used it for social networking, 30% for entertainment, 13% for online shopping, and 11% for online ticketing. Conversely, 52% of mobile internet users in rural areas said that they mostly use the service for entertainment, while 39% said that they used it for social networking. 37% said that they mostly used it for communication, 1% for online shopping, 0.4% online ticketing.
The report also found that the 64% of their mobile bill was for mobile internet as compared to 54% in 2014. However, the average monthly bill reduced by 18% in 2015 to Rs. 360 as compared to Rs. 439 in 2014.
Back in September, an IAMAI report said that the total Internet user base in India was 352 million in June 30, 2015. Out of that number, 213 million accessed the internet through mobile devices. Another IAMAI report said that the number of internet users was expected to reach 402 million by December 2015.
It was also reported that India had surpassed the US to become the second largest market for smartphones. As per a report by Counterpoint Research, smartphone shipments in the country grew by 15% annually in Q4 2015 to take the user base to 220 million.