As per the various reports, India imported optical fibre cable from 60 countries with the total value of import being 73.75 US$ million in 2017. The largest exporter of optical fibre cable to India are China, Japan, Germany, USA and Denmark.
Further, the Indian market for OFC in 2018 is estimated at 29 million fkm, projected to grow at a CAGR of 17 percent through 2023.
With 5G and other emerging technologies, fibre is the most significant component to enhance the network connectivity. Currently, less than 25% of the telecom towers are fiberized as compared to the global counterpart such as China, USA and Japan wherein more than 80% of the telecom infrastructure are fiberized.
It is time when the nation is gearing up to unfold socio-economic benefits to governments, citizens, end-users and businesses through increase in productivity and competitiveness, improvements in service delivery, and optimal use of scarce resources like Spectrum through fiberisaiton.
In a nutshell, it is a lacklustre budget as hike in the basic custom duty will result in higher capital expenditure eventually burning a hole in the pockets of telecom industry which is already facing financial turmoil. The development will seriously impede the rollout of 5G in India.