Buoyed by strong growth in Internet consumption on mobile devices, the number of people online in India is forecast to touch 302 million by end of this year, overtaking the US as the second-largest Internet market in the world.
According to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, the number of Internet users in India is expected to grow 32% to 302 million this year from 213 million at the end of December last year.
The Internet userbase in the country is further estimated to grow to 354 million by June 2015.
Currently, India has the third-largest Internet userbase in the world but with the estimated growth, the country will overtake the US as the second-largest Internet userbase in the world by December-end.
At present, China leads with more than 600 million Internet users, while the US has an estimated 279 million users.
"The Internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and 3 years from 100 million to 200 million.
"However, it took only a year to move from 200 to 300 million users. Clearly, Internet is mainstream in India today," IAMAI-IMRB said in a statement.
Of the 278 million users, 177 million are in urban India, higher by 29 per cent from last year. This is expected to reach 190 million by December 2014 and 216 million by June 2015.
In rural India, the number of Internet users increased by 39 per cent to reach 101 million in October 2014. It is expected to reach 112 million by December 2014 and 138 million by June 2015.