5G will only be a reality once adequate fibre connections are installed: BIF

India's 5G dream can only become a reality once adequate fibre connections are installed, as the country significantly lags on this front, Broadband India Forum (BIF) President T.V. Ramachandran has stressed.

Fibre connections in the country have declined and not increased over the years, he pointed out.

"When I came to the (telecom) sector in 1994, India had about 47 million (connections). Now, it has only 20 million fixed-line connections.

"If you are using a microwave, you cannot even make use of newer technology... 5G cannot happen if there is not enough fibre," Ramachandran told IANS in an interview.

The quantum of fibre placed underground in India is 1/15th of that in the US and 1/10th of that in China, the BIF President pointed out, adding that as against 80 per cent of towers in China connected with fibre, only 20 per cent of towers in India are currently fibre-connected.

Ramachandran, who is the founding President of the industry policy forum, observed: "Pre-dominantly, in other countries, broadband is generally wired broadband, whether you call it landline or optic fibre that has got limitless capacity... so that is always the basis for broadband in most countries."

He was of the opinion that although the reach of mobile broadband is increasing, it has to work with fixed-line broadband.

Explaining the need for fibre connectivity, Ramachandran said although mobile b...

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