Ciena still gung-ho about India's telco market, plans entry in new growth avenues

Optical networking major Ciena plans focus on new areas and devises new strategy to grow its market share.

Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor

June 28, 2024

3 Min Read
Map of India with a magnifying glass.
(Source: Wael Alreweie/Alamy Stock Photo)

Even though most Indian telcos are adopting the strategy of muted capital expenditure this year, Ciena believes the telco business will maintain momentum in the country. 

"While 5G monetization is yet to start, the ARPU [Average Revenue Per User] is all set to go up. The data center industry is also booming in India, with several data center companies planning to double capacity over the next three years. In addition, the networks need to be resilient and super intelligent for Artificial Intelligence (AI), so there is no dearth in terms of demand in the country, and all this is a sweet spot for us," Amit Malik, Ciena's president for India and South Asia told Light Reading during an interview.

"I don't see our revenues from service providers going down but it's just that we might be selling different solutions than what we were selling. Also, with data consumption skyrocketing, it is possible that telcos might need to prepone their capacity enhancement decisions," adds Malik. 

After investing in acquiring 5G spectrum and building 5G networks in record time, India's second-largest telco, Bharti Airtel has mentioned that the capex is going to be muted this year. On the other hand, several vendors, off the record, have highlighted an ongoing capex freeze at Reliance Jio. 

In this scenario, Ciena, like other telecom vendors, is looking out for Vodafone Idea's business this year. Vodafone Idea is finally all set to launch 5G services this year after generating funds through a recent follow-on public offer (FPO). The booming data center market is another growth opportunity for Ciena in the country. 

Apart from inactive Vodafone Idea last year, another challenge faced by Ciena was a delay in subsea cables landing in India because of the Red Sea crisis. 

New Avenues and New Approach

The company is also looking at new avenues to grow its business in the country. "Intra Data Center Interconnection (DCI) is also changing because it wasn't really high-bandwidth earlier but with the level of scale of data centers now, we believe that there will be an opportunity to play inside the data center. This is a relatively new area for us," says Malik.

In addition, Ciena has created a new vertical to focus on the Government and the utility segments. "There's a big spend from the government on infrastructure, for instance, electricity boards transitioning from the legacy networks to IP networks. Now we have a fairly robust routing and switching portfolio, so, you will see us getting into some of these areas going forward," says Malik. 

The company is also planning to work with partners in new areas. "You will see us working into newer areas with partners, like channel partners and system integrators. So this is, again, a new journey that we've started," adds Malik.

Ciena recently gained a new customer, Constl. This subsidiary of Space World Group will use Ciena's solutions to offer metro area network (MAN) and national long distance (NLD) connectivity services.    

Malik also mentioned heightened interest among the telcos in leveraging AI-based solutions to enhance operational efficiency. "I see AI playing a big role in predicting, planning and delivering networks. I see significant room for automation and AI. It has already started happening and it will gather pace going forward," says Malik. 

Ciena competes with other players, like Nokia which acquired Infinera earlier this week. 

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Gagandeep Kaur

Contributing Editor

With more than a decade of experience, Gagandeep Kaur Sodhi has worked for the most prominent Indian communications industry publications including Dataquest, Business Standard, The Times of India, and Voice&Data, as well as for Light Reading. Delhi-based Kaur, who has knowledge of and covers a broad range of telecom industry developments, regularly interacts with the senior management of companies in India's telecom sector and has been directly responsible for delegate and speaker acquisition for prominent events such as Mobile Broadband Summit, 4G World India, and Next Generation Packet Transport Network.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like