The mobile Internet user base in India is all set to explode to 213 million by June 2015, according to a joint report by IAMAI and IMRB International. There are some discrepancies in the related figures which were released in November, but December 2014 apparently saw 173 million people in the country accessing the web on mobile platforms.
The newly released numbers by the Internet & Mobile Association of India as well as IMRB International, can be found in the Mobile Internet in India 2014 report. Since October of last year, mobile web users living in rural areas have accounted for a growth rate of 33 percent and the total is expected to touch 53 million within the next 6 months.
Mobile Internet consumers in urban and rural regions are likely to reach 143 million and 49 million by March 2015, respectively. The former group could then hit the 160 million mark by June. As more and more people surf the web on their phones, monthly bills are getting bigger too, with a rise of up to 13 percent being registered so that the average charges are roughly Rs 439.
Isolating the increase in how much users now spend on mobile Internet per month from the total bill, the average is Rs 235 and reveals a 36 percent rise as pitted against last year. For the regular Indian citizen today, about 54 percent of his total monthly charges are for data consumption, that’s 9 percent more than 2013, going by the IAMAI and IMRB reckonings.
The figures will undoubtedly be useful to service providers and businesses which depend on the web. 1 out of 5 college students and working women are said to subscribe to rental mobile Internet plans offering unlimited data access, just like 26 percent of the non-working female population. 40 percent of young men, working women and older males access limited data plans.
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So it’s high time network operators stopped moaning about Skype, WhatsApp and other web-based services eating into their revenue and concentrated on delivering tempting data plans to attract the millions of mobile Internet users in India.