05:09 GMT09 August 2020
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    As India is poised to boast more than 500 million internet users in 2016, its telecom minister proclaimed the country was on the "cusp of a big digital revolution."

    Indian Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said India was expected to have more than 500 million internet users by the end of this year. The latest estimate comes a year earlier than the original prediction, which had said close to half of the country's population would be connected to the internet by 2017.

    "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," the minsiter said.

    The minister also added that number of smartphone users in the country would also reach 500 million by 2016. So far, the county has about 1 billion mobile subscribers out of its population of 1.25 billion. Smartphone sales have picked up in recent years and have been growing at a phenomenal pace.

    "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," said Prasad.

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