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India's largest fiber-optic cable manufacturer expands into Poland

Aims to grow its export revenue share in optical fibre cable from 30% to 70% in 4-5 years

HFCL team at the FTTH expo in Berlin unveiling plans for manufacturing in Poland. / Photo HFCL handout

In Berlin earlier this week at the  FTTH Conference,  Europe’s biggest expo of the fibre optics industry,   India’s leading maker of optical fibre cable (OFC) – HFCL --  announced  the setting up of a manufacturing plant in Poland.

The location provides a strategic advantage to address the increasing demand for OFC in European markets such as the UK, Germany, Belgium, France and Poland. The move is expected to serve HFCL’s existing 60-plus customers in Europe as well as  new customers, by reducing transit time by approximately six weeks, thus leading to increased order fulfilment capacity.

Poland is emerging as the favoured European nation, due to its attractive market   access to other European nations as well as for its incentive programmes and cost competitiveness. The country's attractions also include its well-developed ports and the availability of specialized skills at relatively lower labour cost compared to other locations in Europe.
 

Photo HFCL resources /

The state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Poland will begin with a capacity of 3.25 million  fibre kilometers ( mn fkm), scalable up to 7 mn fkm, with  an initial capital outlay  of about US$17.35 million (Euro 15.9 million).

Analysts suggest that Europe’s optical fibre cable market will experience a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 4.5 percent over the next five years with expected demand of 90 mn fkm  per annum by 2028. The FTTH  ( Fibre To The Home) Council estimates around 308 million homes in the EU region will have FTTH connectivity by 2028, speeding up deployment by 3-5 years.

The establishment of  HFCL’s manufacturing facility in Poland will be facilitated through the incorporation of a new step down subsidiary in Poland under HFCL B.V., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Indian company in the Netherlands.

Mahendra Nahata,  co-founder and Managing Director, HFCL, said, “Our decision to set up a manufacturing unit in Poland underscores our commitment to meeting the evolving needs of our customers. With this strategic expansion, we are poised to align with Europe's vision, which anticipates gigabit connectivity as a cornerstone of its future. Our commitment to Europe's digital future is based on the unique   approach of superior quality, customised solutions and innovative solutions in the fastest turnaround time.”

Largest optical fibre maker in India
HFCL  has manufacturing plants in India  in Hyderabad, Chennai, Hosur (Tamil Nadu) , Goa and Solan (Himachal Pradesh). With a 25 mn fkm per annum capacity in optical fibre cables being expanded soon to 34.75 mn fkm, it is the largest manufacturer of OFC in India. It also runs two R&D centres in Bengaluru and Gurugram (national capital region).

HFCL, originally known as Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd, was founded in1987. It also manufactures other telecom products including radars and RF systems, last mile connectivity, wireless access, unified cloud and networking systems.

In September 2023, HFCL launched its innovative Intermittently Bonded Ribbon (IBR) Cables in the United Kingdom. These are bonded cables each made up of 12 optical fibres, which are bonded together at specific intervals along their lengths. Unlike traditional flat ribbons, flexible IBRs can bend and conform to the space available inside a cable. Groups of IBRs can, therefore, be bundled together into cables that provide twice the fibre packing density of traditional cables in the same volume.

Photo_ HFCL handout /

In October  2023, at the  India Mobile Congress 2023 in Delhi, India’s IT Minister  Ashwini Vaishnaw  launched   HFCL’s  2 Gbps Unlicensed Band Radio (UBR), the first  indigenously designed and developed UBR  to  address  last-mile connectivity and wirelessly  bridge the digital divide challenge in  India with fibre-like speeds.

 In December 2023, HFCL became the first Indian company to introduce its indigenously designed and developed 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) solution for broadband in home and office.

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