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With a billion users, India will be the next internet superpower, staggering statistics clearly prove it.

Few hours ago, I came across a few lists on the web, which displayed the Internet usage Statistics from all over the world, and no wonder India stands third in internet penetration and is on the verge of a massive boom in internet expansion.

The Top 20 Internet users list shows India, trailing behind China and USA with number of Internet Users pegged at 121 million and an internet penetration percentage as a paltry 10.2 %

What’s so staggering ?

No country in the Top 20 Internet Users list has a penetration rate of under 15% except India. In fact, Indian internet penetration rates are one of the lowest in the world, but it still stands third in internet users list which makes it the Worlds most untapped internet market.

Comparatively, US has 245 million users with a penetration rate of 78%. United Kingdom has 52 million users with a penetration of 84%. US and UK are the worlds biggest internet markets with almost all advertisers servicing these exclusive markets only. Most of the content, being published on the web is also tailored to suit the needs of people living in these two countries. Internet is World Wide Web for sure, but information linking to these two and a few other markets are the biggest in the world. Most of the internet market surveys and marketing statistics take account of only those countries where Internet Penetration rates are nearly 70 % and above.

Now consider this, If India has a penetration rate of 85%, similar to UK, Can you imagine the number of users? It would be literally 1 billion.  That’s a number greater than all the Internet users combined from the Top 50 countries with highest internet penetration rates. Indian internet market has opened up only recently, (thanks to dotcom burst), but it has raked up numbers quite quickly. Currently India has 121 millionhooked to the internet, out of which nearly 80% is accounted from solely urban areas where getting an internet connection is only a bit less troublesome.

Internet usage is now growing, from the mobiles in our hands rather than our desktops. Fortunately, India is on the verge of explosive growth in both the forms of Internet consumption.

India is the worlds fastest growing mobile markets with really mind blowing rates. 903 million Indians have been hooked to mobiles, as of January 2012, which is nearly 3 times bigger than entire US connections. This mobile market is easily the biggest asset India has. Getting Desktops and Laptops might be costly but mobiles have become dead cheap in the recent past. Mobiles with GPRS internet abilities now start from around 1500 bucks ($30) which literally adds heavily to the internet subscriber base.

Figuratively, India will be the next Internet Superpower, thanks to its ever-burgeoning population. But, there are many factors stopping it. India’s growth path is heavily filled with potholes and even these number are as massive as its population. Recently, the world started explosive use of 4G facilities using iPads, but India is still struggling to throttle the basic broadband speeds.

Here are a few stats which will show the highs and downs in the path to Indian technical supremacy :

Number of Internet Users : India ranks 3 with 121 million users. China leads the pack here with 513 million users. Both have ever-growing populations and will completely change the worldwide internet landscape in a few years to come. Internet Penetration Rates : India has a paltry 10.2% penetration rate, which is alongside many underdeveloped countries, but the numbers within that 10% is much more than the entire population of many other countries. BroadBand Speeds :India ranks 108 out of 222 countries, with an average Internet speed of 184 kbps. The worldwide average is 580kbps. South Korea leads the pack with 2202 kbps. The lowest is Congo with 13kbps. (some Indians might have seen even lesser speeds ;) )

Something about our Neighbours

Any discussion about India is never complete without the mention of Pakistan and China. Brothers, aren’t we? 

Pakistan has a penetration rate of 15% China has a rate of 38%, which is a neat 3 times in excess of ours. China is undoubtedly the master of numbers. China has the world’s largest number of Internet users and their population is also much higher than India. But both the countries are weighed down by some of the worlds strictest and somewhat stupidest reforms.

Google, Facebook and Youtube are completely banned in China whereas partially banned in Pakistan. Almost all websites are strictly monitored and content is heavily censored in both these nations. So, a numerical growth is expected in Pakistan and China, but a conducive environment suitable for the growth of all kinds of internet marketing is only possible in India, where there is no such stringent monitoring (though the topic keeps rising at times).

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