BSNL picks NEC to build subsea cable linking Indian mainland to A&N Islands

12 July 2018 | James Pearce

NEC’s Indian subsidiary NECTI has been selected BSNL to design, engineer, supply, install and implement a subsea cable system connect India’s Chennai and the Adnaman and Nicobar Islands (A&N Islands).

The 2,300km cable will include seven segments without repeaters linking the islands of Havelock, Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Kamorta, the Great Nicobar islands, Long Island and Rangat in the Bay of Bengal, plus a section running from Chennai to Port Blair.

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The cable will provide the A&N Islands, which are primarily part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory of India, with 100G optical waves, significantly boosting bandwidth in the region. 

BSNL, which is an indian state-owned telecoms company headquartered in New Delhi, said the cable will boost capacity in the region for both voice and data to support e-Governance initiatives. The cable system will also be used to assist educational institutes looking to share knowledge as part of the "Digital India" campaign launched by the Indian government in 2015.

"BSNL is pleased to select NEC for implementing this prestigious project. We trust NEC for the technological edge they hold in the domain and their commitment to adherence of timelines to ensure successful completion of the project. This project will enable much needed high capacity connectivity with the Andaman Islands and usher a new era of development for the region," said Anupam Shrivastava, chairman and managing director BSNL.

NEC Technologies India (NECTI) will carry out the work, which includes full-scale design, engineering and installation of the cable system. NEC itself will manufacture the optical system, providing turnkey implementation.

Takayuki Inaba, managing director of NECTI, said: "It is indeed a matter of great privilege and pride for NECTI to be given the opportunity for implementing this project of immense national importance. We are confident about successfully completing the project by leveraging the technological edge of NEC and long history of successful implementation of numerous complex projects in the region."

For NEC, this is the latest subsea cable project to be announced by the Japanese manufacturer after it was picked by a consortium including Facebook, China Mobile International and Amazon Web Services to deploy a cable connecting the US to Hong Kong and Singapore. The 16,000-km optical high-speed cable will link Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States and is expected to be completed by Q4 of 2020

It is also involved in the construction, along with Alcatel Submarine Networks, of a 9,500km subsea cable linking Japan to Australia via Guam and backed by the likes of Google which began in April.

"Connecting the A&N Islands to the Indian subcontinent with an optical submarine cable has been a long-time aspiration. NEC is extremely proud of being chosen by BSNL to serve these islands with its cutting edge submarine cable solution, which promises to bring the A&N Islands much closer to the world," said Toru Kawauchi, GM of submarine network division in NEC. 

"Together with NECTI, our local Indian affiliate, we intend to fully capitalize on our regional expertise and to ensure the successful completion of this project." 

Topics: NEC< NECTI, BSNL, subsea