Friday, August 21, 2009

India to have 3rd largest Internet users By 2013: Report

India would become the third largest country in terms of Internet users across the globe, according to a forecast by Forrester. The report takes into account an average growth of 10-20% in online users in India.

The report also forecasts the total number of Internet users worldwide would touch 2.2 billion by2013.

Currently the estimates for total online population in India ranges anywhere between 50 million to 80 million users. China currently has 300 million+ online users, it recently overtook US in terms of online user strength.

Is it really possible?
Indian telecom growth was just recently seen breaking records even after a stupendous growth seen in recent years and a decade of wireless services availability. The growth would largely be for the online sector in India as Telecos to garner more revenues would focus more on providing other telemedia services than just telephony.

The availability of superior telecom infrastructure would thus form the backbone of broadband growth in India. The growth rate of 10-20% for India’s online population is easily achievable looking at the youth oriented demographics of the country. The English speaking population in India is much better than even China which has rode its online growth on the back of heavy availability of vernacular content.

The government would also be renewing its thrust on broadband and Internet related growth as success of many of its e-governance projects hinges on mass availability of internet. Another major growth area for Online sector would be the better availability of wi-fi and wi-max related services as laptop sales-to-PC sales ratio is much higher in India compared to other countries.

A report by Assocham seems to have seconded the thought by stating that there will be 20 million 3G-based broadband subscribers by 2014 whereas WiMax operators will be able to intake 60 million users.

Major areas to achieve projected broadband growth in India:
1. Low cost availability of broadband
2. Major availability of wireless Internet services
3. Bundling of Faster and cheaper internet access with cell phones and fixed line telephony.
4. Low cost PC ownership through initiatives like NetPC.

5. Availability of larger e-governance and mass services online as initiatives like IRCTC has yielded good results.

Thus it won’t be naive to expect such growth looking at the telecom advancements and other demographics profile of Indian Users coupled with the impending e-commerce boom.

No comments: