With an aim to promote innovations in the field of broadband deployment in India and to strengthen its Digital India vision, Pune-based telecom infrastructure and solutions company, Sterlite Technologies Ltd has announced an annual seed fund of $100,000 at an event in Aurangabad.
This newly announced seed fund will help optical fibre maker to invest in Indian startups, working on innovative broadband deployment technologies.
Besides, the company has also set up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) spanning 35,000 sq. ft in Aurangabad with a total investment of INR 55 Cr. dedicated to research and development of fibre-optic broadband technologies.
Speaking on the future plans, Anand Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer, Sterlite Technologies said, “Sterlite is uniquely positioned at the confluence of the government’s vision of Digital India, Make in India, and 100 Smart Cities, and the initiatives announced today are aimed at furthering India’s broadband research muscle.”
Sterlite has also signed agreements on collaborative research in ultra-high speed broadband with the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) of Madras and Kanpur, and said it would set up a five-member panel comprising broadband experts to jointly advise on grants and fellowship programmes.
According to the recent research by IDC, India’s fixed broadband market is expected to reach $2.12 Bn by 2017. Another research by Frost & Sullivan estimates that by 2017, there will be over 547 Mn broadband subscribers in India.
In order to achieve Digital India vision, the government is also doing its best by providing subsidies to operators who are deploying their networks in the low-ARPU rural areas through the Universal Service Obligation Fund. The National Telecom Policy 2011 targets to provide affordable and reliable broadband on demand by 2015 and to achieve 175 Mn broadband connections by 2017 and 600 Mn by 2020.