An interview with KK Shetty
Government’s digital initiatives need a large optical fibre network for smooth and uninterrupted transmission of data.
Given that India is on the brink of a digital revolution, large scale deployment of optical fibre network will be the only solution to meet the quality and quantity requirements of the broadband connectivity in the country. However, there are challenges as well. To discuss the issue at length and its future, we talked to K K Shetty, CEO and Managing Director, Citadel Intelligent Systems. It must be noted that Citadel Intelligent Systems focuses on providing cutting edge fiber optic solutions in the infrastructure space.
How do you look at the global scenario of optical fibre network and what is the status of India in this regard?
Optical fibre industry is growing steadily, and the increase in internet penetration is one of the primary growth factors for this market. The number of internet users is increasing every day and consumers are using various online platforms for purposes such as conducting businesses, applying for jobs, and for accessing social networking platforms. To keep up with the growing demand and to meet the need of the rising data traffic, operators are upgrading their networks and deploying technologies such as optical fibre, since they enable faster data transfer, provide greater bandwidth, and have a very less chance of data loss when compared to the electric signals of copper wires. Advancements in networking technologies that aided the evolution of IoT devices subsequently increased their adoption. This will induce network operators to build new data centres to support the growing data rates, which will in turn, drive the growth of the fibre optics market.
With respect to the Indian market, the data deluge and government initiatives are creating a huge demand for technology to move this data and information and will propel growth of optical fibre cables market in India in near future. According to “India Optical Fibre Cables Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2020”, the optical fibre cables market in India is expected to surpass US $ 424 million by 2020. Key government initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India, creation of nearly 100 smart cities, GST rollout are real game changers of the
Indian economy and puts India at the threshold of a digital revolution. Large scale deployment of Optical Fibre Communication (OFC) and Fibre Optics
(FO) Interconnectivity products will be the only solution to meet the quality and quantity needs of the broadband connectivity in India. To meet this requirement, the number of datacenters and hyperscale datacenters are growing and all these infrastructures will need fibre optic connectivity for smooth functioning.
Key government initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India, creation of nearly 100 smart cities, GST rollout are real game changers of the Indian economy and puts India at the threshold of a digital revolution. Deployment of Optical Fibre Communication and Fibre Optics Interconnectivity products will be the only solution for this.
Following the ongoing implementation of BharatNet Phase 1, the Government of India is quite ambitious about its next Phase. How do you look at it, as the Optical Fibre Cable has a greater role to play apart from the wi-fi which too is contributing significantly to the development?
With this initiative, industries like healthcare and education will be immensely benefitted. Farmers can form their own co-operative group. More and more information will be generated and to meet the demand, it’s important for private companies to put more network infrastructure.
Is BharatNet project sufficient enough to realize the dream of Digital India?
Apart from BharatNet project, private service providers should deploy fibre optic connectivity across the country. This will help the maximum utilization of data usage with ease. With the implementation of datacenters and hyperscale datacenters in place, more and more digital usage will eventually become natural choice.
What is India's futuristic approach towards fibre driven networks? Do you find systemic flaws, if any, that need to be corrected or revamped?
I believe the last mile connectivity is most important. And to meet the last mile connectivity, there should be a proper infrastructure for future. While laying out optical fibre connectivity, it should be future proof. The layout of connections should last for next 50 years. This thinking, keeping the future in mind, will reduce civil work and save cost. More content should be generated, and this should reach out the end user with ease due to high speed connectivity.
What are the distinct products and services you offer and how they are contributing to the government’s digital initiatives?
Fibre optics products for datacenters, colocations and hyperscale datacenters. Fibre optics connectivity for smart cities, aerospace and defense. Fibre Optics (FO) is a fascinating technology which enables communication by way of a connection that offers higher reliability, speed and bandwidth than the wired cables. It is amazing to see that a transparent fibre drawn out of glass (silica) with a diameter slightly thicker than that of the human hair is the most widely used channel of communication connecting continents to meet the communication needs of billions of people in an efficient and reliable manner. Optical fibres are flexible and are capable of being bundled into cables which allow them to be used in long-distance communications supporting lower levels of attenuation, higher speeds and larger bandwidths. Government’s digital initiatives will generate more transmission of data, and for smooth and uninterrupted transmission of data, there is a need of large optical fibre network and our products will help to bridge the gap.
Where do you see the future of optical fibre going? What advancements can we see ahead?
In future we will see high density applications with less space used for optical fibre infrastructure. SMEs and large players will completely move into cloud storage services. This change will result in datacenters / hyperscales which will reduce cost and increase efficiency.
Optical fibre industry is growing steadily.