The outline of rural India is rapidly changing day-over-days and now users are more relying on internet for entertainment and education purposes. It’s true that number of internet-enabled mobile handsets have continuously been increasing since last couple of years. According to a latest report from Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), there are 38 million claimed internet users in rural sector of India and 31 million are considered as active internet users.
In last two years, rural India has shown an incredible growth in internet users. In rural India, the penetration of claimed internet has surged to 4.6% in 2012 from 2.6% in 2010, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 73% in the last two years. On the other side, the penetration of active internet users has mounted up to 3.7% in 2012 compare to 2.1% in 2010. In addition to this, it’s also expected that the number of claimed internet users in rural India will touch 45 million figures by December of this year.
As number of smartphone users and local language contents on the internet are increasing, the growth of internet users will undoubtedly beat all the projections in the next two years. In rural India, dependence on mobile phones is uniformly increasing as an important point of internet access. Till the end of second quarter of this year, there were 3.65 million mobile internet users in India, up by 7.2 times compare to 2010.
In rural India, Community Service Center and Cyber Café are the two major point of internet access; 57.7% of the internet users reportedly access internet through these two major points. However, 12% of internet users access internet on their mobile phones. As I have already discussed that almost half of the internet usages in India is coming from mobile devices.
It has also been found that entertainment is the main driving force for the internet use in rural India. As per the report, 75% of internet users in rural India access internet for their entertainment, on the other hand, 56% use it for streaming of music and videos and also for sharing the photos for entertainment. However, in rural India, users are accessing internet for seeking information related to the education. 81% internet users access internet to get information related to their school/universities and exam centers.
Anyway, internet awareness in the rural India is growing with the dizzying pace and users are now more relying on internet for entertainment and education.