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Indian telecom industry needs to fiberise its networks, says ICRA

April 01, 2019
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According to ICRA, the Indian telecom industry needs to migrate from traditional copper-based networks to dense optic fibre cable networks in order to effectively manage the explosion of mobile data consumption that has happened over the past two years.

As per ICRA, there are around 539 million wireless internet subscribers in the country at present which translates into daily consumption of 418,330 terabytes (TBs) of data. This has been primarily driven by the proliferation of affordable smartphones, low data tariffs, increase in speeds of delivery and enhanced content.

Further, the fibre requirement has been increasing with each upgrade in technology, from 2G to 3G to 4G and now 5G. Further, as 5G and its applications are expected to expand in the coming times, this will translate into speeds exceeding 10 Gbps as against the average speeds of 6 Mpbs achieved with 4G technologies in India.

ICRA highlighted that at present India has about 500,000 towers of which only 22 per cent are fiberised as against 80 per cent in China. India has 110 million km of fibre deployed compared to 420 million km in the United States and 1,090 million km in China.

ICRA pointed out that the present market value of fibre assets owned by major private telecom operators is around Rs 1.2 trillion and the amount of fibre rollout over the next few years will require investments to the tune of Rs 2.5 trillion-3 trillion.

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