AFL, a 100% subsidiary of Japan-based Fujikura and a leading manufacturer of fiber-optic cable and accessories has revealed its plans to manufacture products to deliver to the data center market at its Bangalore (Bengaluru) facility for North American and other Asian markets. AFL will partner with Citadel Intelligent Systems for manufacturing in India and will primarily produce equipment designed for data centres for existing and new customers.
North American countries especially the United States are witnessing rapid growth in data center markets thanks to the high demand from customers for huge amounts of data transmission. President and CEO of AFL, Jody Gallagher, said fast-paced growth in the data center market had attracted AFL to have an India presence for meeting the demand both from the local and global markets.
The Indian government is also making efforts to fulfill its ambitious plans to connect 250,000 villages with optical fiber cables. This along with the deployment of cables for 4G and network for smart cities is driving India’s growth in the telecom sector. The rapid industrialization and foreign direct investments in the ICT will further drive growth prospects in the data center market. The rapid digitization of customer services in India had also resulted in a need for more hyperscale (scalable to accommodate large quantities of information) data centers.
India has evolved as a digitally advanced market. The rising demand for high-speed broadband, increased investment in IT and telecommunications, accelerated by government’s ‘Make in India’, ‘Smart Cities’ and ‘Digital India’ initiatives, are scaling up exponential growth for the optical fibre solutions in the country.
AFL would initially bank on data center customers and not serve the telecom market in India. Telecom sector is highly competitive in India with more than 18 fiber optic cable manufacturers that include top players such as aa Sterlite, Birla Cables, Finolex, Aksh, and HFCL. AFL will focus initially on multinational companies that are building hyper-scale data centers. AFL is not focusing now on government projects. A part of the products manufactured in India will be used for the North American market.
Research firm Gartner estimates that the optic fiber cable and equipment market is worth nearly $2.5 billion in India. AFL aims to address one-fifth of this market, $500 million, with its data centre focus. The data center market for fibre optic cable solution providers would soon topple the traditional enterprise business such as cables for energy and telecom.
AFL and Citadel have jointly hired 50 people at the Bengaluru facility and the size would double by March next year. AFL will not only look for highly skilled people in optical fiber technology but will also recruit diploma holders from places such as Hubballi, Mangaluru, Gulbarga and train them on the on the job.
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