Most important development for 2016 would be the success of Google Loon and Internet drones to connect remaining 4 billion people

India notched up its billionth mobile phone subscriber in October, the country’s telecoms regulator said, underscoring the importance of its fast-growing mobile market, the world’s second largest after China.

India’s e-commerce market is likely to touch $38-billion-mark in 2016, a 67 per cent jump over the $23 billion revenue it clocked last year, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).

IDC reports that more than two billion people are expected to make use of smartphones including tablets by the end of 2016. The report further states that India, China and Indonesia will be the prospective frontrunners to secure the first position in the mobile internet space by the end of 2021.

The International Data Corporation (IDC ) estimates that 3.2 billion people, or 44% of the world’s population, will have access to the Internet in 2016.

As per the statistics released by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), India had touched 402 million user base by the end of December 2015 which is 49% increase when compared to 2014.

The total number of mobile Internet users is forecast to rise at a pace of 2% annually through 2020 unless significant new methods of accessing the Internet are introduced. Google, SpaceX, and Facebook should accelerate Internet and cellular availability to the remaining 4 billion people via high altitude planes, balloons, and satellites are underway. Google is also providing free Wi-fi from bus stops and train stations on a global basis.

Instead of connecting an addition 600 million people by 2019, successful Google Loon and internet drones and free Wifi from public locations and $10 smartphones could enable 2-3 billion more people to get internet coverage. There would also be complete coverage and almost no deadzones in developed countries.

Basic internet and smartphone access for the developing world would mean
* basic banking services
* access to markets
* comparative selling to earn more from agriculture or crafts
* comparison shopping
* access to medical advice
* ability to call for emergency help

Google believes it is on course to have enough internet-beaming balloons in the stratosphere to form a ring over part of the world next year. Google will move would let it trial a continuous data service to people living below the balloons’ path. The declaration coincides with the announcement that three of Indonesia’s mobile networks intend to start testing Project Loon’s transmissions in 2016. Loon will get 10 megabits a second to connected devices via antennae on the ground. For comparison’s sake, the average 4G connection in the UK is 15Mbit/sec.

“Over the next five years global growth in the number of people accessing the Internet exclusively through mobile devices will grow by more than 25% per year while the amount of time we spend on them continues to grow. This change in the way we access the Internet is fueling explosive growth in mobile commerce and mobile advertising,” said Scott Strawn , Program Director, Strategic Advisory Service.

Measuring what Internet users are doing online shows that many activities are enjoyed by billions of people. For example, more than a billion people use the Internet to bank online, to stream music, and to find a job. More than two billion use email and read news online. And more people than ever before are making purchases online. In 2015, more than $100 billion will be spent online on each of the following categories: travel, books, CDs and DVDs, downloading apps, and online classes. These purchases are enabled by online payment platforms that are making payments, online and off, easier and more secure.