Media Inner | IAMAI

NEW DELHI: The mobile Internet user base in India is expected to reach 371 million by June this year, even as the average cost of accessing data fell last year by about 18 per cent, according to a report by Internet and Mobile Association of India and IMRB-International. 

The mobile internet user base reached 306 million by December last year, and is expected to touch 371 million users by June, a rise of 21 per cent in six months. 

Urban mobile Internet users are expected to constitute about 71 per cent of this number, with 262 million users, while rural India is expected to have 109 million mobile internet users by June this year. 

The report, "Mobile Internet in India 2015", found that the share of mobile Internet spend in the average monthly bill rose to 64 per cent last year from 54 per cent in 2014, while the average monthly bill fell nearly 18 per cent to about Rs 360. 

"This change is attributed to the fact that the consumers are engaging more through the data for the connectivity purpose to minimize their money spent on voice," the report noted. 

Mobile Internet users in urban India in 2015 was 219 million, about 53 per cent of the urban population. Rural India recorded 87 million mobile Internet users, doubling from the number in 2014. "The rural has a large potential for mobile internet and the data consumption is poised to grow leaps and bounds," said the report. 

The purpose of accessing the Internet also varied in urban and rural India. The urban population mostly uses Internet for online communication, social networking, entertainment, online shopping and online ticketing. 

In rural India, 52 per cent users accessed the Internet for entertainment, 39 per cent for social networking, 37 per cent for communication and only 1 per cent for online shopping.