STL has added new orders of Rs 15 billion in 2020. These orders have ranged from continued business development in its core areas of optical connectivity solutions and network services to emerging areas such as software virtualisation.

In early 2020, network creation capital expenditure has been accelerated by major European, Middle East, Africa and South East Asian network creators. As STL has strategically invested in these markets it has disproportionately benefited by this acceleration, driving over 65 per cent of connectivity revenues from these international geographies. Alongside this, in India, the rural broadband projects are moving to the next phase of digital infrastructure buildout in leading states like Telangana, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. This is coming after a year of relatively slow growth in data network infrastructure build out.

A key element of this resurgence is the preference for solutions providers that have comprehensive experience in designing, building and managing hyperscale data networks. This trend confirms STL’s strategic approach to build end-to-end network capability from optical connectivity, to network design, deployment and software virtualisation.

Commenting on the development, Anand Agarwal, Group chief executive officer (CEO), STL, said, “At STL, we have been focused on creating solutions for our customers that overcome their end-to-end problem statements – rather than just delivering some components. This has taken significant investment in technology and talent. We are pleased to see that our customers across telcos, cloud companies, citizen network and large enterprises are realising the value in holistic solutions – a trend that is reaffirming our value add as end-to-end data networks innovator.”

The upcoming new projects demonstrate the full range of network use cases.

  • Fibre-to-the-home densification in Europe: The trend towards fiberising each household has been driving up demand for high-end and easy to deploy optical fibre. STL’s proprietary bend-handling fibres and micromodule compact diameter cables that lead to 30 per cent faster deployment have benefited by this trend of fast deployment.
  • Rural broadband connectivity moves to the next phase: STL has been building local expertise of deployment to bolster its technology led design process in key states of Central India. Given the efficient deployment, these states have been leading the move to the next phase of rural network activation. More states are expected to accelerate their plans, especially given the enhanced budget outlay of Rs 60 billion for BharatNet.
  • New engagements in Middle East, Africa and South East Asia: As these markets look to serve high-involvement customers, they are evolving from standard billing solutions to digital Engagement and artificial intelligence (AI) based monetisation. STL’s advanced billing and customer engagement platforms have been able to meet these needs and hence gain new orders.

STL has built the unique capability to design and deliver converged data networks across large-scale nationwide, citywide and rural environments. In the past few years, STL has widened its capability into passive connectivity, AI analytics, network virtualisation and open-source programmability with a focus on converged access solutions. The company has been driving a deliberate strategy to enhance its end-to-end solutions capability by investments in European presence, acquiring Italy’s leading cable producer Metallurgica; adding data centre design capability through IDS acquisition; and building virtual-Radio access Network (vRAN) capabilities through investment in ASOCS. Collectively, these capabilities have been helping renewed demand growth for STL.