Internet Users in India
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Internet penetration in India has witnessed a dramatic growth in last few years. Now India has an online internet community of 40 million a steady rise from 5 million in 2000. India is in the 5th position worldwide. United States, China, Japan and Germany are in the first four positions respectively. India will soon cross Germany which has a total net population of 50 million. Indian online population is estimated to be 100 million by 2007-08.
Indians go online for varies activities like email, search, chatting, blogging, bill payment, read news, net banking, trading, auctions, find jobs, free advertisements and classifieds, online shopping, compare airfares, purchase electronic items, download photos and wallpapers, astrology predictions and matrimonial search. As per Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) now there are 12 million online women users in India. More than 90% of Indian online users belong to 18-45 age group which has high purchase power and high disposable income.
This steady growth in internet penetration is due to many factors. New broadband policy and other initiatives by IT and Telecom ministry slashed broadband prices and increased availability. Now in India a broadband connection is available for just Rs199. After major players like BSNL, Tata, Reliance and Airtel entered broadband segment the whole scenario has changed. On the other side decreasing hardware prices, increasing mobile and telephone penetration and availability of more online service providers has helped the Indian middle class families to purchase a PC and go online from their home.
Now almost all Indian Banks are giving free internet banking facility. ICICI bank alone conducts around 17,000 online transactions per day. Banks also offer many added features like bill payment, fund transfer, online money order, pre-approved online loans, insurance and telephone payment, online check book request and standing instructions, prepaid mobile recharge, account statement via email, demat services, investments etc.
Matrimonial and Job search sites also showed a steady growth in last few years. Matrimonial sites have changed the traditional match making methods and now more and more people are adopting online facilities. Boom in the Indian job market helped online job sites to flourish. Online shopping also on the rise with more people are willing to purchase items online including electronics goods.
Now United States has highest number of internet users in the world with 209 million online users, which is 19.4% of total worldwide internet users and with an internet penetration of 69.9%. In India internet penetration is only 3.6% and has only 3.7% of worldwide internet users.
Land phone and mobile phone penetration is increasing in a very rapid rate in India and it will further boost internet usage. Now all major Indian portals have mobile services like free ring tones, wallpapers, free sms, mobile blogging, mobile search and other wap enabled services.