Nokia Expects India to Outpace World in Wired Broadband


Finnish telecom gear maker Nokia expects India’s wired broadband, or the fiber-to-the home, market to outpace other global markets, as the demand for more bandwidth is set to grow following the much-awaited entry of 4G telco Reliance Jio Infocomm.

“India is at the start of the cycle of building of fiberizing broadband for the purposes of delivering broadband to the home,” Sam Bucci, head of optical networks for Nokia, told . “We do see that pace quickening, and as a market, the growth of residential broadband in India will probably outpace the other markets simply because of where you are in the cycle, in the growth cycle,” he said.

Internet service providers (ISPs) and cable service providers will further drive broadband growth. But the high cost means the entry barrier is high. “It’s a big investment that is to be made to be able to bring fibre close to residential subscribers, so I think there is only a handful of entities that can do…,” said Bucchi.

His comments come as Bharti Airtel and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) are doubling down on investments into their home broadband services ahead of Jio’s expected commercial entry into the market. Jio is widely expected to start offering a massmarket wired-broadband product bundled with Internet-based TV starting at about Rs 500 a month.

“The cable operators also have started and diversifying in providing the internet connectivity… They are trying to provide tripleplay services on coaxial (cable),” said Bucci. Bucci said that the need for more bandwidth has been fuelled by rapidly evolving 4G LTE networks in India. “We have seen an incredible increase in bandwidth demand.” He said that Indian telcos have quickly adopted 100G technology and were the first to adopt 200G technology. “They are at par with what’s happening in other parts of the world in terms of technology deployment.”

Asked if the ongoing consolidation has delayed technological deployments, Bucci said that the deployments are taking place quickly. “Actually, we are seeing it quickly because now you have companies that have put together resources with the intent of scaling them,” he said.

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