India will have 500 million internet users by the end of 2018, according to a new report by Mckinsey & Company and Facebook. Internet adoption in India is growing steadily, with an average increment of 15 percent per year, said the report. The country already has seen a growth of about 30% internet users from 2008 to 2013.
Urbanization, expansion of mobile coverage, lower data cost and increasing awareness and education will be the contributing factors in the growth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on technology and internet usage may prove to be a driving force in India’s internet population growth.
Nearly a one third of the non Internet using population come from rural areas, 43% of them are illiterate and 54% of them are female, said the report published ahead of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to India in this month.
Mark Zuckerberg is visiting India on 9-10 October 2014 for Content and Usability Summit hosted by Facebook promoted Internet.org.
Report pointed out that low per capita income is a key barrier in internet adoption, as 950 million people in India are unable to afford the data plans.”Our consumption basket analysis revealed that even with the low absolute prices of devices and data plans compared with the rest of the world, Internet access in India remains beyond the grasp of close to 950 million people,” said the report which assessed 25 countries.
Report said India’s low literacy rate, at 62% is also a barrier to Internet adoption. “Even if India’s rural and illiterate population were to gain access to sufficient coverage, they would still need to obtain basic literacy and digital skills before they could navigate the Web,” the report said. Another thing that prevents people from using internet is lack of infrastructure.
After seeing India’s Prime Minister launching many government websites to communicate with country citizens and promoting more and more use of technology in day to day life, we shouldn’t get astonished if internet users in India increase beyond 500 million by the end of 2018.