According to new report by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the number of mobile internet users in India is estimated to reach around 420 million by June 2017, with the rural India growing at a much higher rate than urban India and as on December 2016, it was estimated that there were 389 million mobile internet users.
The report says that urban India, with 51 percent penetration is fast reaching saturation point while rural India with 16 percent is the future market for growth. Adding that It added that a number of internet users have registered a jump of 15 percent year on year between October 2015 to October 2016. While urban India grew at 9 percent, growth in rural India was almost three times at 26 percent.
It also notes that average monthly Bill estimates for Urban India reveal that the usage of mobile data as proportion of total monthly mobile bill has increased considerably to surpass component of voice services. In just over 5 years, data component has risen from being 45 percent of the total bill to being 65 percent of total bill.
It must also be noted that total monthly average mobile bill has decreased over time, which is a reflection of the greater affordability of mobile services in India. This augurs well for mobile penetration in the coming days and can pave the path for greater penetration in rural India as long as affordable handsets are available for the lower income section of the population.
In Urban India, Communication, Social Networking and Entertainment (videos, songs etc) are the top usages of mobile Internet, while in Rural India, Entertainment rules the roost with Social Networking and Communication being the other services in order of preference.
The report further added that the average monthly bill is highest for the age group of 45 years and above, and interestingly, both mobile data and voice expenditures for this age group are highest for this age group. Thus, while in terms of uptake, the younger generation is driving the growth of telecom services in Urban India, more senior generations provide higher ARPU for telcos.