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Mumbai tops in Internet usage; Delhi NCR is in 2nd place

The IAMAI-IMRB survey surprisingly finds Kolkata taking the 3rd spot, while India’s tech city Bangalore comes in a lowly No. 6

Neha Saraiya| Delhi | October 27, 2011

According to a survey conducted by IMRB and IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India), Mumbai is the top Internet using city in the country. The financial capital of the country has 8.1 million claimed Internet users and 6.2 million active users. Delhi (including NCR) comes second with 6.2 claimed users and 5 million active Internet users. Surprisingly, Kolkata is in third place, while tech city Bangalore is a low No. 6.

The survey also found that towns with a population of less than 2 lakh collectively returned a much higher number of Internet users than the top four metros put together.

The survey defines active Internet user as an individual who has used the Net at least once in the last one month. A claimed Internet User is someone who has used the Internet at any point in time in the past.

The sample size of the survey comprised 13,065 households and 49,942 individuals in the urban segment, and 3,500 households and 13,209 individuals in the rural sector.

The findings of the survey also put to rest the myth that internet is only for rich people. This year the combined use of SEC C, D and E have been an all-time high with a combined usage of 36 per cent, representing more than one-third of total Internet users.

The report reaffirms that Internet is still dominated by the youth (18-35 years), with college students, young men and working women being the lead users.

BestMediaInfo.com caught up with Subho Ray, President, IAMAI, to talk about the highlights of the report. Some excerpts:

In how many cities was the survey conducted?

We conducted the survey in 30 cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Pune and Chennai, to name some.

The report shows that Internet density is very poor in the top metros despite awareness and accessibility. What do you think are the reasons for that?

I believe that factors like awareness, infrastructure and need are there but there is no accessibility. As cost of access is high and also, typically, people like assisted access which is missing.

Why does Internet remain largely a small town phenomenon?

Internet usage to the extent of more than two-thirds comes from large cities, so Internet is not just restricted to small towns. However, there is a clear trend that the growth rates in smaller towns are faster. This has to do with economic development -- small towns becoming prosperous and having similar aspirations as large cities.

Women as a segment have grown rapidly when it comes to Internet usage. What's your take on this?

There is no clear-cut gender ratio in the report. But my feeling is that among school kids and college students, the proportion of girls is growing.

What major trends do you see emerging in the future?

I think that in coming times small towns will be taking the lead, particularly Sec C, D and E.


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