Pune: Telecom companies need to invest more to fiberise more of their network for a large and meaningful rollout of 5G telephony in India, currently only at around a third overall, with the company also planning an expansion in its non-cables business, said Deepak Chhabria, executive chairman of the city-based cables and appliances maker Finolex Cables.
“Earlier, we used to have a lot of business in the optical fibre cable (OFC) space with the government, but most of it now is with the top two private players in India, and we have also entered the EPC business in the supply and laying of OFCs. We have a current fibre cabling capacity of around 8 million kilometres. In 5G telephony, cell towers need to be more close to each other, and the telecom companies need to invest more in towers, as well as fiberising the towers, as there will be more applications, such as telemedicine or autonomous driving, that will run only on 5G. Only around 35% of the towers are fiberised in India now,” Chhabria said, in an interaction with TOI.
He also added that despite increased digging costs imposed by authorities, the expansion of 5G users will keep costs competitive.
Chhabria added that the company has also targeted around 25% growth in its LAN cables and components business. He said that the consumer electricals business, recently expanded to include water heaters and fans, is targeted for a turnover of around Rs 500 crores in each of the categories.
“We started with switches and MCBs, and now we are offering fans, lighting, and water heater solutions as part of our consumer electricals business. We definitely want to grow the non-cables business, and our target is to reach Rs 500 crore of business in each of the verticals. Once we achieve critical mass in these businesses, we can consider investing in a plant for in-house manufacturing. Currently, most of the appliances are being manufactured through third parties, although we provide the designs and the moulds,” he added.