India, world’s fifth largest economy, had gone online officially on 15August 1995 despite all the testing had been done a day before its announcement on Independence Day. It was introduced for public by state-owned Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL). But if you look at the history of internet in India then one will find that in 1986, Department of Electronics (DoE) had initiated a network called Educational Research Network (ERNET) which provided web access to educational and research communities. In 1995, National Informatics Centre had developed a network ‘NICNet’. It was introduced for communication between government organizations and institutions. Today India is standing firmly on the second rank in the number of highest internet users in the world.
In last 25 years of its journey in India, internet has gone through various changes due to change of technologies. As per the latest Cisco Annual Internet Report, the growth of web users in India will witness two-fold increase in its number. The report states that the country will have over 907 million users of internet by the year 2023. It is poised to have web access for almost 64 per cent of its population. The number of web users in 2018 was 398 million, accounting to nearly 29 per cent of the population of India. So as per the report, the growth is quite promising and at par with average growth of the global web users which is expected to be remained around 66 per cent by 2023.
According to CISCO report, devices and connections are comparatively growing at a rapid pace at 7 per cent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in comparison to population at 1 per cent CAGR in India. This is one of the key reasons behind the growing rate of web users in the country. It is said that the devices and connections has received a tremendous growth from the Machine to Machine (M2M) modules like smart meters, video surveillance, transportation and asset tracking and growth of M2M connections will account for 25 per cent of total networked devices. Experts believe that the availability of low cost internet data and increase in mobile users are the key reasons behind this growth.
It is also believed that smartphones will expected to contribute around 38% of all network devices by 2023 while on the other hand, Smart TVs will estimated to account for 12 per cent of total networked devices by the same year. As more and more users are now downloading applications on their devices for live streaming, social networking and gaming, it is expected that there will be 46.2 billion downloaded mobile applications by 2023 in which business productivity and e-commerce will play a crucial role.
Looking at the rapid growth of the web users in India, the country will soon introduced 5G network for the public and it is expected that 67.2 million 5G connections will be made available for the people by 2023. However, 4G connection will remain the top choice of the users as it will be used on 53.1 per cent of total mobile connections in India. So in next couple of years, India will witness faster growth in its web users which is quite good and encouraging news for the Internet Service Providers in India.