The manufacturing activity of Sterlite Technologies Ltd (STL) has been hit due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
“We have resumed our full production capacity in China now. In Italy also we have just re-started manufacturing activity. India plant is also partially operational. In total, we are operating at 60-65 per cent level. It will take some time to come back to normal,” STL group CEO Anand Agarwal told .
Globally, optical fibres and optical fibre cables (OFC) have increased due to advancement in technologies. OFCs are replacing old copper telecom cables to provide high speed broadband services.
Many plants in China and Italy were shut because of the coronavirus crisis.
India has extended lockdown till May 3 to check the spread of coronavirus.
The death toll due to the virus was near 500-mark and the number of cases was around 15,000 in the country, according to official government data.
Sterlite has 1.4 crore route kilometer (rKm) optical fibre production in China and 3.6 crore km capacity in India.
“Between India and China factory, we are now producing 3 crore rKm of optical fibre out of total capacity of 5 crore,” Agarwal said.
The company has optical fibre cable (OFC) production capacity of 1.8 crore rKm jointly in India, Italy and Brazil.
“Out of 1.8 crore capacity for OFC, we are producing around 1.1 crore rKm,” Agarwal said.
He said that most of the shipments at the moment are happening for urgent network requirements and repair work. This shipment excludes the company’s order book of around Rs 8,000 crore.
“Operations in India have just started. it will take time to come back to normal. Silver lining during this situation is that people are digitally connected. Despite of increase in load, networks have been operational,” Agarwal said.
According to industry data, load on broadband networks in the country has increased by about 20 per cent during the lockdown period due to organisations mandating most of the employees to work from home to prevent spread of coronavirus infection.
Agarwal said that the load of business organisations has now shifted to mobile and public networks and still there has been no network breakdown.
“The nature of this load is different from mobile load. Mobile was mostly about downloading videos. It is now a two way load. People are now video conferencing. Everything has to be in real time. Those discussions have started with most of the telecom operators,” Agarwal said. PRS MKJ