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Research cos know all about the Netizen except his count

18-November-2000
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Research cos know all about the Netizen except his count

How many internet users are there in the country? The answer could vary anywhere between 2 million and 5 million, depending on whom you ask. While Nasscom puts the number at 4.8 million, Gartner pegs it at 3.1 million and IMRB at 2.2 million. To understand how such a wide difference has crept into the Internet usage figures, one needs to look at the methodology. First problem is that there is no consensus on the definition of an Internet user. While IDC defines Internet user as someone who has used Internet at least once a week; Gartner additionally puts the restriction of at least one hour of surfing. IMRB, which is into its third round of study, has gone deeper, classifying them into claimed and active users. Claimed user is anyone who has used internet ever and represents potential market. Active user, on the other hand, is someone who has accessed Internet in last three months; accesses for at least two hours a month on an average; and must use internet for purposes other than email. While they estimate the active users at 2.2 million (probably the lowest estimate doing the rounds in the industry); their claimed user universe is 4.9 million, quite close to Nasscom’s estimate. Another point of disagreement is the subscriber-to-user ratio. ``Each research survey has its own methodology, and has come up with different number of users per connection,’’ points out Partha Iyengar, country manager, Gartner (India). If there is something all these research agencies agree on, it is the profile of an average Internet user. An average Internet user is a young, unmarried male, belonging to Sec A1 category and holds a graduate degree. Most of them are working people and access the Internet about once a day.

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