Swiss optical fibre major Reichle & De-Massari or R&M, will be scaling up its research & development (R&D) and manufacturing activities in India to tap into the demand created by the government’s mega fibre push ahead of 5G services rollout.
“We are planning to strengthen our Bengaluru operations for manufacturing as well as R&D,” R&M chairman Hans Hess said in a report in The Economic Times. The Switzerland-based company had recently set up manufacturing operations in Bengaluru under the Centre’s Make in India initiative to supply fibre to telecom carriers and data centres worldwide.
Hess, however, didn’t mention any investment figures in the report.
“India is the third-largest market for R&M globally and has made significant investments. We are also planning to increase our sales and services operations by increasing partners across the country,” the top executive said. These investments are expected to lead to a nearly five-fold jump in the company’s workforce, specifically, a doubling of headcount over the next two years.
The company had recently acquired US-based fibre connectivity firm Optimum Fiberoptics that specializes in industrial and governmental markets.
The central government, in its effort to connect India digitally, has doubled the nationwide optic fibre coverage from 7 lakh km in May 2014 to 15 lakh km at the end of 2018 and aims to enhance the fibre footprint five-fold by 2022, the ET report said. To achieve this goal, the DoT aims to set up an autonomous agency called the National Fibre Authority, as outlined in the National Digital Communications Policy 2018.
“Fewer people in India are connected to fibre, and we would like to help move this number forward. I think the National Fibre Authority (NFA) would surely support this,” Hess, also a chairman of electronics manufacturer Comet AG, said. “5G is an interesting initiative, and with the increase in consumption of data, a strong backbone is needed that can be built on fibre,” he added.―EET India