India needs Rs 4.2 lakh cr investment to connect 24 cr households with broadband by 2030

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New Delhi, May 13 (PTI) India will need an investment of Rs 4.2 lakh crore by 2030 for connecting 24 crore households in the country with broadband services, according to an industry expert.


While speaking at the Broadband India Forum conference, Prashant Singhal, Telecom Sector Leader, Emerging Markets, Partner in a member firm of EY Global, said that at present 4 crore households are connected with broadband in India.

"To connect 24 crore households in India with high-speed broadband service, India will need to invest Rs 4.2 lakh crore on digital connectivity infrastructure across all modes- fibre, mobile towers, satellite broadband, wifi, data centres etc," Singhal said.

According to the break-up provided by him, fibre deployment will need investments in the range of Rs 2.7-3 lakh crore, passive infrastructure Rs 90,000-96,000 crore, WiFi and in-building solutions Rs 6,600-Rs 9,000 crore, data centres Rs 9,700-Rs 14,100 crore and satellite broadband services Rs 26,000-29,000 crore.


"Besides, USOF (universal services obligation fund), the government can allow use of CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds for building the required infrastructure. CSR is allowed for education. Similarly it can be used for building digital educational infrastructure. Once the CSR route is opened up then even OTT players, e-commerce companies etc will be able to contribute," Singhal said.

He said that even high ARPU (average revenue per user) paying customers can be requested to voluntarily contribute in bridging the digital divide.

Singal said that at present there are 16 crore 5G subscribers in India which are expected to grow to 80 crore by 2030.


"We consume 24 GB of data every month. This will go up to 75 GB per month by 2030. There is immense opportunity in India. We want to be among the top three economies of the world. If we compare our broadband penetration with top 4-5 economies, we are at 13 per cent. This has to go up to 80 per cent," Singhal said.

The US has 92 per cent home broadband penetration, China 97 per cent, Japan 84 per cent and Germany 82 per cent.

He said that urban broadband penetration is at 3.6 crore households and rural is at around 30 lakh connections which needs to go up to 10 crore and 15.3 crore households respectively by 2030.

BIF President TV Ramachandran said that India's current fixed broadband deployment cannot keep pace with exploding data consumption.

"With fixed broadband data usage reaching 10-20 times mobile data consumption per capita, we need a minimum 20 per cent annual growth rate in fixed broadband subscriptions over the next six years to reach just 100 million additional fiber connections," he said. PTI PRS PRS MR