HFCL, a telecom gear manufacturer and systems integration company, is building a portfolio of 5G products including 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) and 5G Transport equipment, both for Indian and foreign markets.

The company is also looking to tap the ₹1-lakh crore 5G market opportunity in India, and exports to West Asia, South-East Asia and Europe.

Expansion plans

HFCL (formerly Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd) has earmarked ₹200 crore as capex for this financial year, majority of which will be used for expansion of capacity at its Hyderabad plant and modernisation of Goa and Chennai facilities.

The company is planning to build 5G RAN products such as Macro RU, 5G Indoor Small Cell and 5G Outdoor Small Cell and 5G Transport products such as Fronthaul Gateway, Cell Site Router and Aggregation Routers. The company is also expanding its presence in fibre and fibre optics.

“The country is on the cusp of a 5G revolution, and commercial rollouts are expected next year following spectrum allocation, which is expected by the first quarter of next calendar year. About ₹1.5-lakh crore is expected to be investment in India for 5G rollout, which includes spectrum charges,” HFCL Promoter and Managing Director Mahendra Nahata told BusinessLine .

These would be based on Open RAN standards like O-RAN and ‘Security by design’ would be built into these 5G products.

“We intend to be a radio solution provider for roll-out of 5G networks, with pre-validated software for operator-specific deployments and for zero touch (automatically configuring devices) operations,” he added.

Fibre capacity

The firm is planning to expand its fibre capacity by 25 per cent to 10 million fibre km per annum (fkm/pa) from 8 million fkm/pa at its Hyderabad plant by the end of this fiscal year. The company is also ramping up OFC capacity by 22 per cent to 22.5 million fkm/pa by December 2021 from the present 18.5 million fkm/pa.

The company’s FTTH production capacity would also be hiked by 20 per cent to 7.2-lakh cable km/pa by September 2021. The company has its R&D facilities in Delhi and Bengaluru.

HFCL would also look at participating in the government’s production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes for telecom sector.