What is the news?
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has launched several initiatives and implemented several reforms in the telecom sector.
Indian Telecom Scenario in 2021
– Increase in Telephone and Internet Subscription between 2014-21: a) Telephone connections registered a growth of 28% b) Urban telephone connections rose by 20% while the growth in rural telephone connections was 40% and c) Internet connections registered a growth of 231%.
– Increase in FDI: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the telecom sector rose by around 150% between 2014-2021.
Reforms in Telecom Sector
– Rationalization of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR): Non-telecom revenue will be excluded on prospective basis from the definition of AGR.
– Spectrum Tenure: In future Auctions, tenure of spectrum increased from 20 to 30 years. Moreover, surrender of spectrum will be permitted after 10 years for spectrum acquired in the future auctions.
– No Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC) for spectrum acquired in future spectrum auctions. Further, Spectrum sharing is being encouraged as additional SUC of 0.5% for spectrum sharing is removed.
– To encourage investment, 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) under automatic route permitted in Telecom Sector.
Initiatives in Telecom Sector
– PM WANI
– Submarine optical fibre cable project
– High Throughput Satellites (HTS): These have the capability of delivering significantly enhanced data rate as compared to conventional satellites. The deployment of HTS in coming times will be instrumental in providing abundant capacity and connectivity to unconnected or sparsely connected regions.
– Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite: It is an emerging satellite technology which offers low latency communication by virtue of low propagation delay. Such new technology satellites may supplement availability of requisite bandwidth that could be utilized for rendering broadband services along with voice communication in difficult terrain and far-flung areas.
– Network Readiness Index: It was developed by the World Economic Forum in 2002 and now published by M/s Portulans Institute, Washington. India has jumped 21 rank from 88 in 2020 to 67th position in 2021.
– India ranks among top 10 in ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) 2020
– 5G Test bed: It is funded by DoT. It will enable development, testing and proliferation of 5G technology system components, cross-sectoral use cases, besides setting up the foundation for the development of “6G Technology landscape” in the country.
– 6G Technology Innovation Group (TIG): It is constituted by DoT with the objective to co-create and participate in the development of 6G technology ecosystem through increased participation in capability description, standards development at international standard setting bodies.
Source: This post is based on the article ‘YEAR END REVIEW-2021: DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS’ published in PIB on 28th Dec 2021.