India Gets Serious About Fiber Investments

India has very low broadband penetration and ambitious broadband growth targets set by the Indian government require fiber access. It has been estimated that the existing optical fiber network will have to be augmented by another 1 million kilometers to ensure nationwide connectivity to consumers and businesses throughout India.

Indian government’s National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) initiative is a very significant step to provide broadband connectivity to rural areas. Services like Government-to-Citizen (G2C) applications, telemedicine and e-Learning are expected to serve as initial anchor services for this network.

A suitable solution for a long-distance and high-bandwidth requirement will be the usage of optical cables in the customer premises (FTTx). The choice of the FTTx option depends on the specific application scenario. With a rapidly growing customer base and bandwidth requirement, Gigabit PON (GPON) is expected to prevail as a leading optical access technology in the last mile. GPON is regarded as an emerging solution in the optical access market place, offering unprecedented high-bit-rate support.

Challenges in deployment include right-of-way costs, access to buildings (residential and business) and subscriber acquisition. There are also operations and maintenance challenges due to scarcity of manpower with adequate training and technical skill sets. Gaining access to buildings is also a major hurdle -- one that could lead to high-speed broadband access networks being deployed in local pockets, rather than being widespread.

Optical fiber access will progressively penetrate deeper into the network and edge closer to the end user. However, fiber laying is a time consuming process, so in the interim, multiple technologies such as xDSL, microwave and broadband wireless technologies (LTE) will continue to coexist in the first mile.

The latest Heavy Reading Insider, "FTTx Market Starts Lighting Up in India," provides an in-depth view of the FTTx market in India and examines the state of the Indian optical fiber network, including the current technology trends, applications and opportunities.

— Arvind Nagasayanam, Contributing Analyst, Heavy Reading Insider

FTTx Market Starts Lighting Up in India, a 14-page report, is available as part of an annual subscription (12 monthly issues) to Heavy Reading Insider, priced at $1,595. This report is available for $900. To subscribe, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/insider.

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