Sterlite Sees Opportunities in Digital India Program

Sterlite Technologies Limited is planning for a huge investment in India as part of the Digital India program, which has got a boost from the current central government in India. Sterlite has announced plans worth 3.13 to 3.9 billion US dollar investments. Sterlite is also looking for partnerships similar to the one it has signed with Ericsson to build smart cities in India.

Sterlite Technologies is one of the leading suppliers of optical fibers and cables worldwide while ranking at the top of fiber optic product manufacturers in India. Sterlite started its optical fiber cable manufacturing from a manufacturing location in Aurangabad in Maharashtra State in 1992. Commercial production of optical fiber cables in this division started in 1993 and there was no looking back for the company as it diversified its production to optical fibers and optical preforms.

The investment does not necessarily limit to optical fibers only as Sterlite has diversified interests and business units. The founder and Chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc, in which Sterlite is a part company, Mr. Anil Agarwal told local media that optic fiber is the most important ingredient for Digital India and the government is ensuring a transparent process, putting everything together and allowing large companies to participate on turnkey basis aiming to create the digital network. Vedanta group operates in the areas of optic fiber, fiber optic cables, power conductors, and HV / EHV power cables through its operations in India, China, and Brazil.

As part of BharatNet’s National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), the company is providing its products in laying optical fiber cables and intends to maintain and manage the network for 10 years The company makes these fibers at a facility in Aurangabad and another facility in China. From China, it supplies to the country and global markets, while Aurangabad supplies for Indian consumption. Sterlite claims to have 11-12 percent of the global capacity. Sterlite is also engaged in making fiber optic network for defense forces in J&K.

Sterlite had expanded the Aurangabad manufacturing facility from 12 million fiber kilometers to about 25 million fiber kilometers in the last three years. Current optical fiber demand in India is estimated at around 16 million fiber kilometers in the installed cables.
Recently, Sterlite Technologies signed an agreement with Ericsson to work together in driving Smart Sustainable City initiatives in India in line with the Government’s vision of Digital India.

Indian Government’s Digital India plan is an ambitious plan to provide broadband services to as many Indian masses as possible. India has one of the lowest broadband penetration rates among developing countries. It is estimated that less than 10 percent of the population has access to broadband services.

Supported by recent deregulation and liberalization of telecommunications laws and policies, India is emerging as one of the fastest growing telecom markets in the world. Total telephone subscribership base exceeded 900 million in 2011 that corresponds to an overall teledensity of roughly 75%. Urban teledensity now exceeds 100% and rural teledensity is steadily growing and the government is focusing on the spread of broadband services.

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