Internet cafe
(Photo: Reuters)

India is reportedly set to overtake US as the world's second largest internet base by mid-2014, said a new report.

Last month, India's internet user number crossed 205 million, registering a staggering y-o-y (year-to-year) growth of 40 percent over last year. With this rate, the number is expected to reach 213 million by end of 2013, reported IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India) & IMRB International.

The report also revealed that rural India recorded a tremendous y-o-y growth of 58-percent. Out of 205 million internet users in October, rural population accounted for 68 million and is estimated to cross 72 million by next month.

If the growth continues in the same pace, India's internet user population may breach 243 million by June 2014 and push the US to third position which is reported to house 207 million internet users. China currently holds the top slot with more than 300 million active online users.

"The Internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and only 3 years from 100 to 200 million. From here on, we can hope to develop a robust Internet ecosystem with a multitude of local and global players and a thriving Internet economy. Internet is now, clearly, mainstream in India", said Rajan Anandan, Chairman, IAMAI.

India's sudden spurt in internet usage can also be attributed to the penetration of mobile phones both in urban and rural regions. The number of mobile internet users witnessed a steady rise since June with 91 million users accessing internet via phone which has now reached 110 million in October. It is expected to reach 130 million by year end, said the report.

Break up of internet users via mobile phone:


Active mobile internet users in June

Active mobile internet users in October

Expected Active mobile Internet users by year end


70.2 million

85 million

103 million


21 million

25 million

27 million