The number of Internet users in the country is likely to reach 500 million this year, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.
“India has grown to around 400 million Internet users. If we take Trai numbers then it is somewhere close to 332 million. As per service providers, they were telling me that up to date it is 402 million. We were to have 500 million users by 2017, I feel it will happen this year itself,” Prasad said while launching Digital Desh Drive 2.
India has now over 100 crore mobile subscribers, he added.
As per the official data shared by him in Lok Sabha today, the total mobile subscriber base at the end of February has 98.2 crore GSM mobile users and 4.45 crore subscribers on CDMA network.
People in India specially at grass root levels are using technology to transform their lives.
“After being IT and communications minister, I am indeed experiencing a different India. India is sitting on cusp of a big digital revolution. Indians first observe technology, then adopt technology and then they start enjoying it and they become empowered in the process,” Prasad said.
The Digital Desh 2.0, a narrative story book, has incorporated insights of small Indian businesses who are using Internet to transform their businesses.
iSpirit co-founder Sharad Sharma, a contributor to the project, said that smartphones is transforming the nation with more people using it for their routine work.
“News reading on mobile phones have crossed total readerships of top 10 newspapers in India. Next year, what would change is, most in India would be paying on their mobile phones than in any other country in the world because of new payment systems being launched,” Sharma.
He said that there is technology being tested in the country where a fruit vendor will be able to get loan based on sales registered in his mobile wallet.
“The underlying technology enabling this system is Aadhaar because the lender knows to whom he is giving loan,” Sharma said.