According to IDC, Internet users in India is expected to grow eight-fold by the end of 2005. This is despite the slowdown in the growth of Internet users. IDC predicts that the number of Internet users will grow to 3.75 crore by the end of 2005.
It also forecasts that the home and small business segments would drive the growth in Internet user base for next five year. For the period 2000-2005, Internet user base in home segment is expected to witness a computed annual growth rate (CAGR) of 87 per cent while the same in small business segment is expected to grow by a CAGR of 72 per cent.
IDC said that as per its Internet Commerce Market Model (ICMM) version 7.1, the number of unique Internet users in India is slated to grow to 3.75 crore by the close of 2005. According to IDC, by the end of 2000 there were 44.7 lakh unique Internet users in India. This corresponds to a CAGR of 53 per cent for the period 2000 to 2003.
According to IDC, even in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan), India is expected to be next only to China in terms of total number of Internet users by the close of 2005. In the Asia-Pacific region, growth in absolute number of Internet users is going to be led by China and India, primarily because of these being populous countries which are on their way to embracing Internet technologies.
Also, the role of cyber cafes is expected to be very crucial in the next couple of years in helping Internet reach out to the masses at an affordable cost.
According to the IDC forecast, in the year 2004 and 2005, there would be a sharp increase in the number of locations (home, office, colleges) where an average Internet user would start accessing the Internet.