There are an estimated 6.5 crore active internet users in India, up 28 per cent over the past one year, according to market research firm JuxtConsult. Out of this, 6.1 crore were regular users, with 4.6 crore from the urban area and the rest coming from the rural areas. Moreover, four out of five net users log on to the web every day.
The study also found that 'Home' is the top point of access (58 per cent), and the most preferred place of access (43 per cent), growth is largely 'PC' driven (access on mobile phones accounts for just a quarter of the internet user base), even as mobile adds 'depth of usage'.In terms of activity over the internet, besides sending e-mails, internet is widely used for shopping, social and professional networking, job search, cinema ticket booking and reading product reviews, the survey said. It added that Google, Gmail, Gtalk and Youtube are the most used websites for 19 distinct online activities and social networking behemoth Facebook, emerges as the leader in six distinct verticals (including online games and even professional networking.
The study conducted during April-June 2011, covering 32,876 households in 104 cities and 15,889 households in 766 villages also found e-commerce has gained momentum. As much as 80 per cent of internet users search or buy online, translating into a 5 crore strong online consumer base and 1.7 crore of these or 29 per cent of all internet users also 'buy' online, up 70 per cent from 1 crore last year during the same period, the report revealed.
JuxtConsult has also found that Indian mobile subscriber base grew 37 per cent to 48.7 crore, driven by rural India.In terms of the number of mobile handsets being active, there are 44.6 crore 'active' mobile handsets in use (up 26 per cent from 35.5 crore last year). Of which 82 per cent all the mobile sets have been bought below Rs 3,000 price point, the survey said. As much as 5 per cent of all mobile sets are dual SIM handsets and 80 per cent of the 'most used handsets' have games on them, over half of them have FM radio and 18 per cent have a camera, according to JuxtConsult.
As far as the mobile user profile is concerned, in the last one year '25-35 years' and '13-18 years' age groups have gained the most user base with two thirds of mobile users being 'employed'; 70 per cent of these employed 'head' their households, two thirds are educated completely in 'vernacular' languages and lower income class becomes the single largest 'mass' of Indian mobile users with 40 per cent of the total, the survey reveals.