For years, HFCL was content to simply focus on manufacturing and rolling out optic fibre cables. Today, however, the 35-year-old company is girding up to test the dominance of global telecoms vendors in India. A little bit of Cisco, a teeny bit of Nokia, a touch of Arista, Mist, and their ilk is what HFCL is adding to its arsenal as India turns the heat on localisation in telecom networks. 

A group of Tata companies group of Tata companies The Ken PMO stakes BSNL’s future on Tata and an aatmanirbhar 4G gamble Read more  in association with the government-run telematics development centre C-DoT is in the final stages of deploying a locally developed 4G network for BSNL, the public sector telco. Commenting on this, Ashwini Vaishnav, the union minister for communications and railways, said said Economic Times In final commercial talks with TCS for BSNL 4G network rollout: Telecom Minister Read more “We have to take a technological leap and have to take a risk.” 

Taking their cue from the minister, businesses, both large and small, are leaping all around.

One of the largest telecom project service providers for Reliance Jio, HFCL HFCL HFCL It was earlier called Himachal Futuristic Communications Limited has rolled out the telco’s 4G optic fibre cable (OFC) network, but it is now looking to enter the 5G network equipment space as well. And the transition from OFC to network gear is, well, a massive leap. 

“Jio is a good paymaster [in turnkey projects]. But as a company we’ve decided to increase [our revenue from] products more than from turnkey projects,” Mahendra Nahata, HFCL’s managing director, said on an analyst call on 29 April. Nahata knows Jio more intimately than simply as a paymaster. His company, Infotel Broadband, which was the sole recipient of a controversial pan-India controversial pan-India Economic Times Reliance Industries buys 95% stake in Infotel Broadband for Rs 4,800 cr Read more broadband wireless access (BWA) licence in 2010, was bought over by Reliance Industries and rechristened as Reliance Jio Infocomm. 

Nahata got a board seat at Reliance Industries. Later, Reliance Ventures also invested in HFCL. In December 2021, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries upped its stake in HFCL to 5% through another subsidiary, Reliance Strategic Business Ventures. 

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