Internet usage is increasing rapidly in rural areas due to cheap data and it is going to increase significantly in a few years.
The use of smartphones is increasing rapidly. With the rapid increase in the number of smartphone users, the process of digital adoption is increasing rapidly in rural areas as well. A report has also come out about this, in which it has been found that after four years i.e. by 2025, the total number of active internet users is likely to reach 90 million. Last year their number was 622 million.
The number of Internet users in urban areas of India has increased by 4 percent. In the year 2020, this figure reached 323 million users (67 percent of the urban population). The process of digital adoption is going on fast in rural areas. These figures have come out in the report released by The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
According to the report, mobile still remains the preferred device for accessing the Internet in both urban and rural areas. Given the availability of cheap data plans as well as the power of mobile devices, accessing the Internet through a mobile device has clearly become the first choice. The report suggested that even though internet penetration in urban areas is 2 times higher than in rural areas, the number of users in rural areas is increasing rapidly year after year.
Vishwapriya Bhattacharjee, Executive Vice President, The Internet and Mobile Association of India, said that by 2025, rural India will have more internet users than urban India. Given this, the digital ecosystem will need to evolve to meet the specific needs of this emerging demographic. He further added, in the next few years, local language, voice and video will emerge as game changers for the digital ecosystem.
Findings show that nine out of 10 active Internet users use the Internet every day. On average they spend about 107 minutes (1.8 hours) a day actively on the Internet. However, the proportion of daily users is slightly higher in urban India as compared to rural India. The AIU (Active Internet User) in urban India is spending 17 percent more time than in rural India.
Smaller cities account for nearly two out of five active internet users, while the top nine metros account for 33 per cent of active internet users in urban India.
The report said, although rural India has a large population that does not actively use the Internet, it has a huge potential for growth in the next few years. Interestingly, the ratio of male to female AIU is almost the same in rural and urban India.
In urban India, the male to female internet users ratio is around 57:43 while in rural India, the male to female internet users ratio is 58:42. IAMAI said that the growing internet penetration in India provides an important platform for all stakeholders to take advantage of the digital revolution.
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