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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

India’s active internet user base to hit 639 mn by year-end

Currently estimated at 574 million, the number of monthly active internet users has grown 24% over that of 2019, indicating an overall penetration of 41% last year

NEW DELHI : India’s monthly active internet user base is estimated to touch 639 million by the end of December, thanks to the covid-19-induced lockdown that has forced people to stay indoors.

Currently estimated at 574 million, the number of monthly active internet users has grown 24% over that of 2019, indicating an overall penetration of 41% last year. The analysis is part of the ICUBETM report prepared by data, insights and consulting company Kantar.

The report said India’s rural areas are driving its digital revolution, with a 45% growth in internet penetration in 2019 as compared to urban India’ s 11%. Rural India has 264 million internet users this is expected to reach 304 million in 2020. Local language content and video drive the internet boom in rural India, with a 2.5 times rise in penetration in the last four years. Mobile is the device of choice for 100% of active users to browse the internet.

“The new decade is expected to witness the next wave of digital India aided by the recent covid-19 pandemic that has catalysed the speed at which the already connected consumer is getting further connected with devices, payments, e-medicine, etc.," Puneet Avasthi, senior director of insights division at Kantar, said in a statement.

The annual tracking study gauges the changing digital ecosystem in India, measuring internet usage by demographic, activity and device segments. The recent report covered about 75,000 respondents in 390 cities, urban locations and 1,300-plus villages.

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