During an ongoing official visit to Japan seeking industrial investments to the State of Andhrapradesh in India, the Minister of IT requested to the management leaders of Furukawa Electric Co Ltd for opening a new fiber optic cable manufacturing facility in the state. The minister Dr. Palle Raghunatha Reddy is accompanied by the Secretary of the ministry B. Sreedhar and met top leaders of Furukawa Electric Co Ltd, NEC Corporation and Panasonic Corporation.
Furukawa Electric Co Ltd is already in collaboration with Birla Group to produce optical fibers, cables, and components in India. Birla Furukawa Fibre Optics Limited is a joint venture between Universal Cables Limited, Satna, India and Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd, Japan. The company’s registered office and production facilities are in Verna industrial estate in the western state of Goa. Universal Cables Ltd is an M.P. Birla Group company producing telecommunication cables. There are more than sixteen facilities to produce fiber optic cables in India. Sources close to the market indicates about five new upcoming projects to manufacture optic fiber cables, out of which at least one is expected to open in the southern state of Andhrapradesh.
Fiber optic cable consumption in India has seen a sudden jump ever since the government-run BBNL started functioning and deploying national optical fiber networks in partnership with state governments. Andhrapradesh was the first state to kick start national fiber optic project and that went to the extent of declaring statewide deployment of high-speed broadband networks. Andhrapradesh was home to one fiber optic cable company called Surana Telecom and one optical fiber drawing company called Arihant. Arihant stopped operations as it was not profitable to draw optical fibers and stay in business by competing for big companies such as Sterlite and also by the import of fibers.
The minister and secretary gave a detailed presentation on the fiber optic project of Andhrapradesh and the investment opportunities available. The delegation asked the top management of Furukawa, to come and visit the new State of Andhrapradesh at the earliest and depending on the value proposition offered by the Government. The minister told they welcome the Japanese company to take a viable investment decision to set up their manufacturing facility for optical fiber cables in the new State of Andhrapradesh.
The minister requested NEC Corporation top management to set up their operations in SMART Technologies such as facial recognition technologies, in the new State of Andhrapradesh and offered all the support to NEC for this purpose. The delegation from the state visited Panasonic to witness the SMART CITY concept being implemented by the group including usage of IoT technologies with a combination of digital technology. The minister requested the Panasonic team to visit Anantapur area for setting up of their manufacturing facility in consumer electronics, etc
It is the third time in two months we have been reporting news about Furukawa. The first was when the OFS, a Furukawa company expanded its cable manufacturing facility in Russia. The second news came when the company announced its plan to start a fiber optic cable company in Africa. Furukawa had announced plans to increase fiber drawing capacity in India. All these points to the massive investment and diversification plans by the Furukawa group in fiber optics to tap from the growing demands from the global market instead of limiting itself from the shrinking domestic telecom market in Japan.