Shortages of middle mile and backhaul transport often are problems for rural Internet service providers and mobile service providers alike, and that is a problem in India as well, according to Ankit Agarwal, Sterlite Technologies global head for telecom products.

In India, less than 20 percent of mobile cell towers use optical fiber for backhaul, compared with an average of nearly 80 percent in the United States, China and Korea.

That situation, as it turns out, remains quite common, and was the case as recently as 2010 even in  developed markets as well. By 2018, IHS Infonetics Research expects about 40 percent of global mobile tower backhaul connections

India deploys just 15 million kilometers of optical fiber every year, against 150 million kilometers each year in China.

India needs to deploy about 50 million kilometers worth of new optical fiber every year to support 3G and 4G services,” said Agarwal.