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The information age is fueling the expansion and development of reliable information and communications technology (ICT) systems and services throughout the world. Ambitious plans are under way in many countries, and U.S. firms are poised to supply needed technology and equipment. USTDA furthers the development of this sector by funding various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment.

In fiscal year 2008, USTDA invested in 17 new activities in the Telecommunications sector. The following is an illustrative list of USTDA-supported projects in this area:

Success Story: USTDA Brings Broadband Access to Africa

Bringing broadband communications to Africa through the sale of more than $400 million in U.S. exports demonstrates USTDA's success in utilizing U.S. technologies and services to expand ICT infrastructure overseas. The Agency's investment in a regional ICT conference in Ghana and a reverse trade mission to the United States proved successful when a group of African ministers, traveling on the USTDA-funded RTM, convinced potential financiers that undersea fiber-optic cable connecting East Africa to the rest of the world could be commercially attractive. As a result, the SEACOM fiber optic cable network has revolutionized communications in Africa.

Egypt Forward: Partnering for Trade and Economic Growth

To demonstrate that Egypt is "open for business" as it transitions to a new governing structure, USTDA hosted Egypt: Forward, a two-day forum in Washington, DC followed by four sector-specific RTMs across the country. Over 50 Egyptian public and private sector delegates connected with hundreds of U.S. government and industry representatives. The Egyptian ICT officials, consisting of entrepreneurs as well as established businesspeople, discussed their country's needs given the transformative changes and learned about U.S. technological advances in egovernment, cloud computing, data centers, and other solutions.

Kazakhstan Digital Broadcasting

U.S. businesses were given the opportunity to present digital TV solutions to a delegation from Kazakhstan during this reverse trade mission. The delegates visited U.S. facilities and met with leading U.S. companies and U.S. government agencies active in digital television broadcasting, including Harris Corporation, Broadcast Electronics, and Axcera. These visits included trips to Washington DC, Melbourne, FL, Quincy, IL, and Pittsburgh, PA.

Kenya Cybersecurity

USTDA hosted a delegation of senior Kenyan ICT decision makers in Washington, DC, and Silicon Valley, CA, to explore best practices and innovative cybersecurity technologies to protect Kenya's growing ICT infrastructure.

Vietnam Financial Information Management Modernization

Introducing a delegation from the State Bank of Vietnam to U.S. central bank operations best practices and the ICT systems used in the management and supervision of the sector was the goal of this USTDA-sponsored mission, which visited Washington D.C., New York, NY and Silicon Valley, CA. The RTM directly supported the Vietnamese government in developing a centralized and integrated ICT platform to include a data warehouse and core banking system, while simultaneously opening up business opportunities for U.S. ICT providers.

India Integrated Emergency Communications System Feasibility Study

This project partially funds a feasibility study for the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to establish an Integrated Emergency Communications System (IECS) and supporting infrastructure in Hyderabad. The MHA requested funding for a study to assess the current IECS communications architecture; analyze the operational, financial, and organizational aspects that would lead to a national IECS; and address the implications of project implementation focused on a pilot project in Hyderabad.