Hyderabad: Listed entity Himachal Futuristic Communications Limited (HFCL), which is setting up an optical fiber making unit at Fab City, will look at backward integration to add a preforms unit as well here.
It has taken 20 acre and will use about 10 acre in the first phase to make 8 million fiber kilometer (MFKm). In the next phase, it will be doubled to about 16 MFKm and also include a unit for making the preforms (raw material).
“Once the current plant is ready, looking at the demand of optical fiber in India and abroad, the fiber manufacturing capacity will be doubled and also set up a unit for preforms,” said Mahendra Nahata, HFCL Chairman.
“These are just plans and financial closure for this not done yet. However, the projection is based on the demand. When we do, it will mean an employment for an additional 700 people,” he said.
It has two plants that make optical fiber cable and its own demand for the fiber is about 15 MFKm now. It now imports about 40 per cent of the raw material and buys the remaining from local manufactures. In the first phase, HFCL would be able to meet about half of its own requirement.
The domestic industry needs about 40-50 MFKm. There is also export demand.
Now 4G is increasing and it needs more fiber. Next, 5 G is coming and this will need four times more fiber network. Then there is fibre-to-home, which will bring a big demand. A lot of data centres are coming up and they will need a more fiber. Bharatnet, which aims to provide connectivity to villages, is a big programme and that will need more fiber. The worldwide the demand is expected to be 600 MFKm in 2018, up from 400 MFKm. It is expected to go upto 800 MFKm in three years. In India, the demand can go from 40 MFKm to 70 MFKm, he said.