As Demand For Fibre Optics Connection Skyrockets, Companies Pour In Crores To Stay Ahead

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Even though the technology hasn’t quite arrived, there is no question of the demand for the upcoming 5G network in the near future. Keeping in mind the same, India based network services major Sterlite has decided to set aside a small fortune for upping their ante in digital network infrastructure.  

The development has come courtesy of the words of Sterlite Technologies Limited (STL) Chief Executive Anand Agarwal. According to the tycoon, the company has plans to invest a whopping sum of Rs 300 crore to swell its capacity for optical fibre cables from 18 million to a whopping 33 million fibre kilometres. This is almost double the overlay but is expected, seeing how many telecom service providers have begun stepping up their splurge into the digital network infrastructure.

Top executives at Sterlite expect the demand for fiber-optic cable to rocket to 25 million fiber kilometers as early as 2022. The investment clearly justifies the outlay of the fiber-optic cables, which are key to high-speed data connectivity and upcoming 5G networks. Furthermore, the investment will also be a huge asset to increase the production capacity of the fiber-optic undertaking, according to Mr. Agarwal.

Even as moves continue to galore, all major Telecom players in Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Kumar Mangalam Birla-led Vodafone Idea have been aggressive in deploying their own fiber-based networks. And with good reason too, considering the massive surge in data consumption that has ensued, bringing fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and much-awaited fifth-generation networks into sharp focus.

As it stands, according to Delhi-based Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association, as of Dec 2019, nearly a third of the current 6.25 lakh telecom tower base was fiberalised, with only 2.8 million worth of fiber kilometers being deployed in the country.

 The work for home-grown Sterlite is still clearly cut out, as its operations across all six countries of their services have already seen the capacity utilisation exceeded pre-Covid-19 levels.

Be that as it may, there has been an exponential surge in data consumption and remote work culture, thanks to the pandemic in no small part. It is a given from the analysts that telecom operators will continue to prioritize strengthening the networks for seamless delivery of services and customer satisfaction.

Just early this month, the Cabinet also deferred the spectrum sale in the 3300-3600 MHz, recommended for commercial 5G services, in the forthcoming auction for 2,251 units to March 2021.

On the whole, Sterlite has been seeing quite some action in the networks sector. What with its recent partnership with Airtel, the Pune-based optic fiber major has lofty ambitions for the next-generation (5G) network deployments in the country, in addition to building an indigenous ecosystem, consistent with the Make in India motive. Sterlite has sought to diversify its portfolio to venture into optical interconnect network products and has developed an end-to-end multi-band radio solution and a smart 5G Indoor small cell – called Garuda.

This is a company whose execution for on-ground services has improved on a quarterly basis. Clearly one on the march, the investments look to be in good stead and in good hands for now.

Stay tuned for more updates.


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