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India now biggest market for Opera Mini phone web browser

“It’s a mobile-first market and there are a lot of people here who haven’t been connected to data,” Boilesen said.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 11, 2014, 06.32 AM IST
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“It’s a mobile-first market and there are a lot of people here who haven’t been connected to data,” Boilesen said. 
“It’s a mobile-first market and there are a lot of people here who haven’t been connected to data,” Boilesen said. 
NEW DELHI: Opera Mini, a popular mobile phone web browser, has achieved 50 million users in India, making the South Asian nation the largest market by this measure for the Norwegian company that’s now scouting for possible acquisitions in the mobile advertising space in the country.

Opera Software chief executive Lars Boilesen estimated that the number of users in India would double to 100 million within a year given pace of growth of smartphones, a fourth of which are set to come from Nokia’s Xpress web browser, which will further strengthen India's presence at the top.

“It’s a mobile-first market and there are a lot of people here who haven’t been connected to data,” Boilesen said. The company’s global operations will be centred on markets including Indonesia and Russia where users will access the internet for the first time via mobile phones. Opera Mini has more than 300 million users worldwide. Microsoft acquired Nokia’s mobile phone business for $7.5 billion in September and a month later, 100 million Nokia’s Xpress web browser users have been asked to migrate to Opera Mini, which has become the default browser for Microsoft's feature phones and the Asha phones. A fourth of these users are in India. Microsoft will still service Asha phones already in the market.

The Opera Mini web browser compresses data by 90%, increasing browsing speed, reducing stalling and in turn increasing data consumption without driving up usage bills.
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