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As the entire world has been reeling under the grip of COVID-19 pandemic since last one and half years and with 2nd wave of spread taking its toll in a big way affecting the economies all across the world, the situation should be brought under control with effective protocols and the way businesses should be conducted in a prudent manner, thereby minimizing the after effects.

Against all odds, the telecom industry responded to this situation in a very big way especially in India, providing high speed broadband connections through wireline deliveries with the use of Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) technology, as all the offices closed and Work from Home culture started due to the pandemic situation. The off-take in the FTTH type of optical fibre cables has taken off in a considerable fashion in the speciality cable segment not only in India but from various overseas market as well, ultimately paving the way for good capacity utilisation of the cable industry.

The demand in FTTH type of cables is complemented further by the demand for structured copper data cables through which substantial broadband connections are still running.

Now, the telecom industry is picking up with the demand for augmenting the network capabilities in 4G LTE side, as well as preparing for the upcoming 5G technology to be introduced in India. Several countries have already introduced 5G technology in the network with high speed mobile internet availability which is made available to large chunk of subscribers and the demand is definitely set to grow.

The proposed 5G spectrum auction during the end of this calender year or early next year, is the best enabler to move ahead in reaching out to the subscribers at large across one of most populous countries in the world.

As far as the challenges are concerned, the telecom sector always faces the issue of RoW (Right of Way), which is to be addressed with a holistic approach.

Both Central and State Governments are trying to address this particular issue in a cost-effective manner, still lot of ground has to be covered, with the active participation of local authorities and all other stakeholders who are playing a major role in laying the network of optical fibre cables across the nation.

MP Birla Group (Birla Cable Ltd., Vindhya Telelinks Ltd., Universal Cables Ltd., Birla Furukawa Fibre Optics Pvt. Ltd. and Birla Visabeira Pvt. Ltd.) under its disposal with the varied and vast capabilities of offering end-to-end connectivity solutions in the entire gamut of telecom business requirements starting from the design, manufacturing and supply of critical network requirements, not only in terms of cables, accessories and critical passive components, but also in the requirements of survey, design, laying, installation, erection and commissioning of all types of cables.

Also, the companies are engaged in providing complete Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of the entire telecom network across the segments and fulfilling the needs of the industry as a complete – Total Solution Provider (TSP).

As the impending introduction of 5G rollout requires huge deployment of optical fibre networks with more fibre count for high dense applications, high fibre count optical fibre cables will be the norm of the industry.

MP Birla Group in its various arms has already prepared itself for the same, by way of introducing futuristic and innovative high fibre count ribbon type of optical fibre cables, which is already available in its portfolio of offerings.

The MP Birla Group companies have done further innovations in offering light weight, micro optical fibre cables for the space constrained existing installations, especially in densely populated city environments, which can pave the way for quick network enhancement.

More and more, innovative developments are happening, true to its MP Birla Group’s resolve to serve the nation and as an on-going culture of devising new process methodologies coupled with the commitment to the success of telecommunication sector.

During last year’s Independence Day Speech, our Hon’ble Prime Minister announced the ambitious project under Digital India with the provision of high speed broadband internet connectivity across Pan-India by using optical fibre cables which will ultimately bridge the digital divide between Urban and Rural India in 1000 days’ time period. This will give huge impetus to the optical fibre cable industry and MP Birla Group is fully geared up to meet the requirements of this mammoth project of national importance.

As far as the global market for optical fibre cables is concerned, USA is booming with huge requirement, as all the telecom operators and the Internet Service Providers are enhancing the network capabilities, the new administration wants to ramp up the high speed broadband connectivity reach across the nation over multi-year project roll-outs.

Similar pick-up in terms of network rollout is being witnessed in Europe as well, with robust planning of deep routed coverage using optical fibre cables in various countries. Other markets in South America are also experiencing increased trend in optical fibre

cable deployment. This increasing trend should auger well for us to have a reasonable share in the export market also.

Overall, barring some regions, the requirement is increasing for optical fibre cables as the telecom operators are putting up Greenfield 5G networks to cater to the future needs of the subscribers.

In general, the entire telecom sector is going to see a stabilisation phase during 2021 and to reach the growth phase from 2022 onwards which should augur well for the industry as a whole, thereby generating more employment opportunities and ultimately improving our economy to a greater extent.

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