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tele.net organises seventh annual conference on “OFC Networks in India”

June 18, 2018
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A continuous upsurge in data services has created significant demand for optic fibre cable (OFC) networks, both on the last mile and backhaul fronts. As the telecom sector moves towards 5G technology and the government works towards the realisation of the Digital India, Smart Cities and BharatNet targets, the OFC industry is set to witness much higher demand.

BharatNet Phase I, which was completed in December 2017, alone involved the laying of over 250,000 km of OFC. Phase II, which is scheduled to be completed by March 2019, will see another 400,000 km of OFC being installed.

The Smart Cities Mission will also generate significant opportunities for the industry as OFC is fundamental to enabling services such as Wi-Fi, video surveillance and security, smart lighting, smart parking and smart traffic management.

On the industry side, OFC will be essential to meet the growing backhaul requirements for 4G and 5G services, to support high-bandwidth services such as video-on-demand through FTTH networks and to cater to the increasing need for Wi-Fi infrastructure.

Fiberisation of networks will also be crucial to support services such as virtual reality, IoT and artificial intelligence.

Telecom operators have already increased their capex guidance for strengthening their OFC networks. The growing digitisation of cable TV networks will further add to OFC demand by multiple-system operators.

Besides, sectors such as power, railways, defence, and oil and gas are contributing to the OFC demand. Indian Railways’ Wi-Fi programme and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited and GAIL’s connectivity requirements are driving demand for OFC in these sectors.

While both the telecom sector and the OFC industry are eyeing this space for greater revenue opportunities, several policy and regulatory bottlenecks related to fibre network roll-outs need to be resolved. The primary issue pertains to right of way (RoW), for which the government has already released a set of guidelines. However, the same needs to be implemented strictly across states. A number of municipalities still continue to levy exorbitant RoW charges.

The mission of the two-day conference, organised on June 19th and 20th, 2018 at Shangri La, New Delhi, is to assess the demand for OFC in India, study the key growth drivers, discuss potential applications of OFC, highlight key government and private sector initiatives, and showcase the latest innovations and most promising technologies.

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