India is presently witnessing an upsurge in mobile broadband and data services due to growing smartphone adoption. In order to accommodate high-speed data services, mobile operators need to upgrade their network infrastructure by deploying optical fiber cables (OFC). Research has established that OFC would beat competing technologies (such as copper and microwave) in the long term.
Unlimited capacity, high degree of security, and long-term economic gains are some key advantages for optical fiber. The OFC market in India is expected to be a USD 290.8 million market by 2018. The overall market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5 percent between 2011 and 2018.
According to Frost & Sullivan Analyst, “Increasing mobile broadband penetration, coupled with proliferation of data-intensive devices and services, is expected to drive data traffic in India. Operators are increasingly looking at OFC to support the data deluge expected in networks. Governmental initiatives like the ‘National Optical Fiber Network’ will further spearhead growth in the OFC segment.”
Chief enablers for OFC deployment in India include deployment of next-generation broadband technologies, rise in OFC deployments in backhaul and last-mile connectivity, availability of low-cost smartphones and Tablet PCs, proliferation of high-bandwidth devices, and rollout of the National Optical Fiber Network. High total cost of ownership, high cost of optical fibre, right of way issues, limited availability and legacy v/s NGN technologies are the main challenges faced in OFC deployment.