The number of Internet users in India is expected to rise 18.53 per cent in the coming eight months to reach 24.3 crore (243 million) by June 2014, on the back of higher adoption of mobiles as a means to access the Internet, a report said.
India is also expected to overtake the US as the second largest Internet base in the world by the same time.
"The report estimates that by June 2014, India will have 243 million Internet users, at which point of time, it is expected to overtake the US as the second largest Internet base in the world," the I-Cube 2013 report, released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International said.
At present, China leads with more than 300 million Internet users while the US has an estimated 207 million Internet users.
The report said the number of Internet users in India has reached 20.5 crore (205 million) as of October this year, registering a year-on-year growth of 40 per cent over last year and by December 2013, it is expected to reach 21.3 crore (213 million).
"The Internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and only 3 years from 100 to 200 million. From here on, we can hope to develop a robust Internet ecosystem with a multitude of local and global players and a thriving Internet economy," said IAMAI Chairman Rajan Anandan.
The report said Internet access from mobile devices will see huge growth in the coming years. "Mobile Internet is going to be the next game changer for Internet in India." it added.
The report said the number of mobile Internet users has witnessed a steady rise, with 11 crore users in October and is estimated to reach 13 crore by the end of December this year.
"Mobile usage and hence, mobile Internet usage has seen huge jump from the 2012 penetration levels. Compared to the 0.4 per cent mobile Internet users in 2012, the penetration has grown to 2.4 per cent, indicating a substantial growth in the mobile Internet user penetration levels," the report said.
Of all the active Internet users, close to 90 per cent use Internet for online communication and under this, e-mail communication commands the highest share of 78 per cent.
"Social networking continues to be the rage with 75 per cent of the users engaging in it actively while 69 per cent use the Internet for entertainment," it said.
Apart from listening to songs and watching videos online, sizeable number of users are downloading mobile value added services (VAS) and online shopping has also picked up in a big way, it said.
"Every second active Internet user claims to have bought something or the other over the Internet," it added.