Telecom Technology Development Fund (TTDF) Scheme
- 04 Oct 2022
- 6 min read
Why in News?
Recently, the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) launched the Telecom Technology Development Fund (TTDF) Scheme.
- Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) is a body under the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to fund rural and remote digital connectivity.
- The Centre in the draft telecom bill, 2022 has said that the USOF, created under the Indian Telegraph Act of 1885, shall be referred to as the “Telecommunication Development Fund”.
What is the Telecom Technology Development Fund (TTDF) Scheme?
- TTDF aims to fund R&D in rural-specific communication technology applications and form synergies among academia, start-ups, research institutes, and the industry to build and develop the telecom ecosystem.
- The scheme aims to promote technology ownership and indigenous manufacturing, create a culture of technology co-innovation, reduce imports, boost export opportunities and creation of Intellectual Property.
- Under the scheme, USOF is also targeting to develop standards to meet countrywide requirements and create the ecosystem for research, design, prototyping, use cases, pilots, and proof of concept testing, among others.
- The scheme entails grants to Indian entities to encourage and induct indigenous technologies tailor-made to meet domestic needs.
What is the Present Status of the Telecom Sector of India?
- The Telecom industry in India is the second largest in the world with a subscriber base of 1.17 billion as of 2022. India has an overall teledensity of 85.11%.
- The industry’s exponential growth over the last few years is primarily driven by affordable tariffs, wider availability, the roll-out of Mobile Number Portability (MNP), expanding 3G and 4G coverage, and evolving consumption patterns of subscribers.
- The Telecom sector is the 3rd largest sector in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows, contributing 6.44% of total FDI inflow, and contributes directly to 2.2 million employment and indirectly to 1.8 million jobs.
- Between 2014 and 2021, the FDI inflows in the Telecom sector rose by 150% to USD 20.72 billion from USD 8.32 billion during 2002-2014.
- 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has now been allowed in the Telecom sector under the automatic route.
- India is on its way to becoming the second-largest smartphone market globally by 2025 with around 1 billion installed devices and is expected to have 920 million unique mobile subscribers by 2025 which will include 88 million 5G connections.