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India requires Rs 4.2 lakh cr for broadband connectivity to 24 cr households by 2030

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In Short:

India needs Rs 4.2 lakh crore by 2030 to connect 24 crore households with broadband, says industry expert. Current 4 crore households have broadband. Investment needed for fibre, mobile towers, wifi, data centres, satellite broadband. CSR funds, high ARPU paying customers can contribute. 5G subscribers expected to grow to 80 crore by 2030. India’s broadband penetration at 13%, needs to reach 80%. Fixed broadband deployment needs 20% annual growth.


India Requires Rs 4.2 Lakh Crore Investment for Broadband Connectivity by 2030: Industry Expert

An industry expert has estimated that India will need an investment of Rs 4.2 lakh crore by 2030 to connect 24 crore households in the country with broadband services. Speaking at the Broadband India Forum conference, Prashant Singhal, Telecom Sector Leader, Emerging Markets, Partner in a member firm of EY Global, mentioned that currently, only 4 crore households are connected with broadband in India.

Infrastructure Investment Breakdown

Singhal stated that to achieve the goal of connecting 24 crore households with high-speed broadband service, India will need to invest in digital connectivity infrastructure including fibre, mobile towers, satellite broadband, wifi, and data centres. The estimated investments required are as follows:

  • Fibre deployment: 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
  • Satellite broadband services: Rs 26,000-29,000 crore

Singhal also suggested that besides the USOF, the government could consider allowing the use of CSR funds for building the necessary infrastructure. This could help in bridging the digital divide and expanding connectivity.

Growth Projections and Comparisons

India currently has 16 crore 5G subscribers, with expectations to reach 80 crore by 2030. Data consumption is also projected to increase from 24 GB per month to 75 GB per month by 2030. Singhal emphasized the need to enhance broadband penetration to move India towards being among the top three economies globally.

As per Singhal, the US has 92% home broadband penetration, China 97%, Japan 84%, and Germany 82%. In comparison, India’s broadband penetration stands at 13% and needs to reach 80% by 2030.

Urban broadband penetration currently stands at 3.6 crore households, while rural areas have around 30 lakh connections. These numbers need to increase to 10 crore and 15.3 crore households, respectively, by 2030.

Challenges and Recommendations

BIF President TV Ramachandran highlighted that India’s current fixed broadband deployment is insufficient to meet the growing data consumption demand. He emphasized the need for a minimum 20% annual growth rate in fixed broadband subscriptions over the next six years to reach 100 million additional fiber connections.

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