INTERNET MARKET BRIEFS
An overview of the Start and History of
Internet Usage in India
The state-owned Videsh Sanchar Nigam
Limited (VSNL) launched Internet Services in India in August
1995. For the first four years , VSNL was the sole provider of
Internet Services in the Country. In the first years, broadband usage in
India was growing 20% per month, according to the Internet Service
Providers Association of India (ISPAI). Thanks to the progress in the
penetration of ICT and especially, the Broadband Policy announced in
1995, the term “broadband” entered the mass lexicon and most
Internet users were aware of faster Internet speeds.
In November 1998, the
Government ended VSNL’s monopoly and allowed provisioning
of Internet Services by Private Operators. The Terms and
Conditions of the ISP’s License were unusually liberal with
no License Fee and allowed unlimited number of players. ISPs
could set their own tariffs and even their own International
Women lead the rural Internet rush in
India. In year 2004 the Internet was having a revolutionary
effect on the 700 million people who lived in villages in India -
and the change was led by women. A project set up by one of
India's leading technology institutes put women in charge of
forging the way across the digital divide as the proprietors of a
fast-growing number of internet cafes or kiosks around the
sub-continent. In total 80% of these new kiosks were run by women,
many of whom have had very little or no acquaintance with
technology before. See BBC News.
India Internet usage surges
February 17, 2006 - Internet adoption continues to grow
in India. According to the Internet & Mobile
Association of India (IAMAI) the
low cost of broadband has helped increase Internet usage.
E-commerce and high demand for .in domain registrations are also
factors for the increase in online users. The ".in" domain
registrations surpassed 150,000.
Broadband policy and other initiatives by the IT and
Telecom Ministry encourage increased adoption. A monthly
broadband subscription costs as little as 199 rupees (US $4.50).
A second factor is the IT Telecom Ministry initiative to make
computers available for purchase under 10,000 rupees (US $226).
In addition to working with hardware manufacturers to remove the
financial barrier for households in India, the organization
continues to push development of language fonts to remove
language and localization of content issues.
According to IAMAI, a trade association representing
the online content and advertising, e-commerce and mobile content
and advertising industry, Indians go online for a number of
activities including e-mail and IM (98 percent); job search (51
percent); banking (32 percent); bill payment (18 percent); stock
trading (15 percent); and matrimonial search (15
An Update Survey of
Internet usage in India
According to a release dated September
19, 2006, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)
and IMRB International, Internet users in India have reached 37
million in the month of September 2006, up from 33 million in
March 2006. During the same period the number of "active users"
has risen from 21.1 Million in March 2006 to 25 Million in September
2006. "Active User" is an internationally accepted and widely used
category to define users who have used the internet at least one
in the last 30 days.
The numbers are a result of the largest "offline" survey so far
carried out in India to estimate the "ever user" and "active user"
categories. The primary survey for the study was conducted in early
2006 amongst 16,500 households covering 65,000 individuals across 26
major metros and small towns in India, with additional coverage of
10,000 business and 250 cyber café owners. The survey did not include
In November 2013,
IWS considers that the number of Internet users in India is now 150,000,000
to give credit to surveys and field work performed till December 31, 2013.
news for India ICT.