A new world of mobile data is emerging. It is being driven by the rise of better phones, faster networks and an increasing variety of content applications and mobile internet portals. While India is not the first country to experience this new world, it is unique because it is one of the few countries where the mobile is becoming the primary (and in many cases only) device in people’s lives.
In India today, there are an estimated 100 million people who already use the mobile Internet. This is an extrapolation from the datapoint provided by Vodafone that it has 32 million people using the mobile Internet. Airtel would probably have a similar number, and other operators put together would add an equal number.
The PC internet in India has about 80-100 million users, according to recent surveys and estimates. While there is some overlap between the PC and mobile Internet users, it would be fair to say that the Internet in India now has about 120+ million unique users – about 10% of the population. Going ahead, this user base should rise even faster.