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Discussion Starter #1
Work on undersea cable to connect Andamans to begin in December



Project aims to carry 100Gb/s optical waves; precaution taken to safeguard environment

Work to install a 2,300-km undersea optical submarine cable system for high-speed internet connecting Andaman and Nicobar Islands to mainland India through Chennai will begin in December.

Japanese tech major, NEC Corporation, has been contracted by the BSNL to design, engineer, supply, install, test and implement the cable system.

“It (cable laying work) is scheduled to start in December 2019, and will be completed by the end of March 2020,” a spokesperson for NEC told The Hindu via e-mail.

The contract signed in July last year is for a system that includes a segment with repeaters from Chennai to Port Blair and seven segments without repeaters between the islands of Havelock, Little Andaman (Hutbay), Car Nicobar, Kamorta, the Great Nicobar island, Long Island and Rangat.

The project aims to carry 100Gb/s optical waves and is aimed at supporting voice and data connectivity to implement e-governance initiatives, assist educational institutes in sharing of knowledge and ensure that government services are made available to citizens electronically.

Marine survey

Asked what precautions the company was taking to ensure that marine life was not affected due to the project, the spokesperson said, “Before we begin to lay a submarine cable, it is first necessary to secure government permits and conduct marine surveys of the areas where the cable will pass.

In order to secure these permits and successfully complete the survey, we have to demonstrate that we are taking environmental conditions, such as marine life and habitats, into consideration.”

The spokesperson added that the company’s existing motivation to protect the integrity of the areas where it worked, together with the government's additionally specified protection measures, helps to ensure that ample precautions are taken to safeguard the environment.
 

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Once Andaman’s internet connectivity improves, it will be a good place for folks who want to retire early or work remotely and like to have a peaceful and outdoorsy lifestyle.

Port Blair has decent medical facilities and advanced medical needs are only a flight away to Chennai or Kolkata.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
'Chennai-Andaman Submarine Cable System Project to be Completed by 2020'

On the current status of the project, the submarine cable and repeaters cable have been manufactured and it will take another one year to be completed, Atushi Kuwahara, Head of Administration, Submarine Network Division, NEC Corporation said.

Tokyo: The Chennai-Andaman and Nicobar Islands (CANI) submarine cable systems project is expected to be completed by 2020, an official of the Japan-based NEC Corporation, the company implementing the 2,300 km long undersea project, said.

A submarine communications cable is a cable laid on the seabed between land-based stations to transmit telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean and sea.

Earlier, the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited had placed an order with NEC Technologies India Pvt. Ltd. (NECTI) to design, engineer, supply, install, test and implement an optical submarine cable system connecting Tamil Nadu's capital Chennai and the union territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands (A&N Islands) in the Bay of Bengal.

NEC Corporation, the parent company of NECTI, will manufacture the optical submarine cable at its facility in Japan and provide technical assistance during the turnkey implementation, Atushi Kuwahara, Head of Administration, Submarine Network Division, NEC Corporation told PTI in Tokyo.

On the current status of the project, he said the submarine cable and repeaters cable have been manufactured and it will take another one year to be completed.

Now what is left is "cable loading, cable laying (done by ship), CLS installation and commissioning tests. This will be the first landing of cable in the islands," he said, adding that it will allow residents and tourists to connect with the rest of the world using high speed internet services.

Kuwahara, however, did not disclose the total value of the project.

Compared to satellites, using internet connection through submarine cables is more reliable, cost efficient and of large capacity, he said, adding that it is best for telecom infrastructure, applications like HD TV, high speed internet, data transmission, high speed mobile terminals, among others.

"The cable system will provide the A&N Islands with sufficient bandwidth for supporting voice and data connectivity that enable the implementation of e-governance initiatives, such as the establishment of enterprises and e-commerce facilities," as per NEC Corporation.

"The system will also assist educational institutes in sharing knowledge and will play a significant role in driving the "Digital India" vision, a campaign launched by the Government of India to ensure that government services are made available to citizens electronically," according to the company.

Speaking on the importance of the project, the official said once completed, it will open the gateway to Southeast Asian markets for the company.

Besides CANI, the company is undertaking two more cable projects — 3,500-km long Hong Kong-Guam (HK-G) cable system project and 9,500-km long Japan-Guam-Hong Kong (JGA) project — he said.

NEC Corporation has over 98,000 employees and operations in public, enterprise, telecom carrier, system platform and various other sectors in over 168 countries and territories, including India
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Chennai-Andamans submarine cable project flagged off

The ₹1,224-cr project, which involves laying 2,250 km of OFC, will mark a huge improvement over satellite connectivity

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands will soon be connected with the mainland through highly-sophisticated optical fibre cable (OFC) that will provide high-speed broadband in all parts of the islands.

This ₹1,224-crore project to lay 2,250 km of submarine OFC will bridge the digital gap between Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology.

At the inauguration of the project, Prasad also announced that a similar project connecting Kochi with Lakshadweep group of islands will be taken up at a cost of ₹1,000 crore. “Today is a milestone in the history of India. Earlier, the connectivity to Andaman and Nicobar Islands was via satellite. From June 2020, it will be under the sea. The depth of laying the cable ranges from 1,000 ft to 3 km,” said Prasad.

He added: “This technological advancement will give connectivity, which will be 4,000 per cent more efficient than what people in the islands are getting today.” This is the first time such a gigantic exercise has been undertaken in India, he added.

Counting on BSNL

Prasad added: “I would expect the BSNL team to execute the project before the deadline ensuring quality. We can have a robust inauguration that will prove that BSNL, through its active involvement, can execute such a large project and show the world that it has finally risen from the slumber. I would like all the employees to work in that direction.”

PK Purwar, CMD of BSNL, said that the submarine cable project will connect mainland (Chennai) to Port Blair and seven other islands - Havelock, Long Island, Ranga, Hut Bay, Car Nicobar, Kamorta and Campbell Bay. BSNL is the project implementation agency and the work has been awarded to NEC Technologies India through a global open tender. The project is funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund/Department of Technology.

The digital connectivity is important for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for overall social development. The project will play a significant role in achieving the objective of Digital India and BharatNet, and for rolling out various e-governance projects of the Centre in the islands, he said.

It has been targeted to commission the link by June 2020. “We are trying to complete the project ahead of schedule,” he said.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Airtel launches 4G services in Andaman and Nicobar

The new services were flagged off by a 4G video call between MP Bishnu Pada Ray and Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Tuesday launched its 4G services in Andaman and Nicobar islands, offering high-speed mobile data connectivity.

Airtel, which so far offered 2G and 3G services in the archipelago, has 1.56 lakh subscribers in Andaman and Nicobar islands and over 40,000 of them have 4G handsets, a company official said.

The new services were flagged off by a 4G video call between Member of Parliament Bishnu Pada Ray and Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan. With this, Airtel becomes the first operator to launch 4G services in the islands.

Speaking on the occasion, Sundararajan said that there has been a quantum leap in the connectivity in Andaman and Nicobar islands in the last 3-4 years. She said that ISRO has also promised improved connectivity from the current 2 Gbps to 3.6 Gbps in the coming months, supplementing ongoing efforts to strengthen network and infrastructure in the islands.

Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a number of development projects including a submarine optical fibre cable between Chennai and Port Blair, and a State Wide Area Network (SWAN) project connecting 12 major islands.

“In addition to the optic fibre, the launch of 4G services by Airtel and the planned satellite connectivity, the department is also focusing on improving the intra-island connectivity.We expect that there will be a huge improvement in status of connectivity in Andaman and Nicobar islands,” Sundararajan said.

In a statement, Airtel said that its 4G services will enable digital offerings like HD quality video streaming, fast downloads and uploads, and high speeds internet browsing.

Airtel 4G services will be available in Port Blair to start with, and will be gradually expanded to other parts of the islands. Customers can upgrade to 4G SIM for free and choose from prepaid and postpaid plans that come with premium bundled content like Netflix, Amazon and Zee5, the statement added.

Airtel 4G will be available across a range of smart devices including mobile phones, dongles and 4G hotspots.
 
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