Home / Industry / Telecom /  HFCL to get into consumer segment with wi-fi access points from FY24


Telecom equipment maker HFCL Limited is planning to sell Wi-Fi access point routers directly to consumers starting from the April-June quarter of FY24, which will be the business-to-business provider's entry into the consumer segment.

The routers will be designed and manufactured at its upcoming plant in Manesar with an investment of 425 crore, for which it has already received approval under the design linked equipment manufacturing incentive (DLI) scheme approved by the government, said managing director Mahendra Nahata told Mint.

“This is our first foray into consumer segment. We will test out the B-to-C segment with the wi-fi access point for homes and once we’re successful we can introduce more products, it will open up more opportunities," he said. Nahata added that the home wi-fi solution creates a mesh network within the home which provides wi-fi coverage across all areas, a unique selling point that it plans use to take the product to the market.

“We will be making this equipment in a facility in Manesar that we’re trying to create, which will entail an investment of 425 crore, including research and development," he said.

The investment will be made under the DLI scheme for which it will get incentives of about 652.79 crore over a five-year period. The company is also looking at exports of the consumer products after addressing the market for local demand, which will pool into its plans to raise revenues from sales of telecom gear, optic fiber and cable products.

HFCL is simultaneously expanding its optic fibre and fibre optic cable manufacturing capacities at its existing plants with a combined additional investment of 550 crore. It will expand its optic fiber capacity to 22 million fiber kilometers from present 10 million, over the next 12 months. The plant in Hyderabad will be expanded to house this increased capacity with an investment of 300 crore, he said. The company has an order book of 800 crore which will be generated from supplies over FY23.

For expanding its optic fiber cable manufacturing facilities in Hyderabad and Chennai, the company will invest 250 crore to ramp up capacities to 34.5 million fibre kilometers from existing 24.5 million fibre kilometers.

HFCL has been shoring up its defense contracts. It has been shortlisted for developing software design radios for the Indian army, through its investee company BigCat Wireless based out of Chennai. This is in addition to electronic fuses that it has already offered it to the Indian Army for testing. The company expects to get revenues to start from defense products in from FY24 onwards.


Gulveen Aulakh

Gulveen Aulakh is Senior Assistant Editor at Mint, serving dual roles covering the disinvestment landscape out of New Delhi, and the telecom & IT sectors as part of the corporate bureau. She had been tracking several government ministries for the last ten years in her previous stint at The Economic Times. An IIM Calcutta alumnus, Gulveen is fluent in French, a keen learner of new languages and avid foodie.
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