Undersea Cable Laying Work Connecting Chennai To Port Blair

The Undersea Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) laying work connecting Chennai to Port Blair and 07 Islands is all set to being on 09 Jan. BSNL have organized a function for commencement of cable-laying of Chennai – Andaman & Nicobar Islands submarine Optical Fibre Cable System at Chennai. Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Honble Union Minister for Communications, Electronics & IT, and Law & Justice, Government of India will inaugurate it in the August presence of Admiral D.K Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.), Honble Lt. Governor, A&N Islands, & Vice-Chairman, Islands Development Agency, at 01:00 pm on 09 January in Chennai. The inaugural function will be held at Hotel Le Royal Meridien, followed by the flag-off ceremony in the cable-laying ship KT Responder, berthed inside Chennai Port Jetty.

This project of national importance will build the first ever dedicated submarine of cable link from Chennai to A&N Islands. It will connect Port Blair to Chennai and will have further landings seven Islands:

  1. Swaraj Dweep
  2. Long Island
  3. Rangat
  4. Little Andaman
  5. Car Nicobar
  6. Kamorta
  7. Great Nicobar

The project activity was formally launched by Honble Prime Minister of the India on 30th December 2018, during his visit to Port Blair.

This system will play a pivotal role in driving the ‘Digital India’ vision of Honble Prime Minister. The total length of submarine cable to be laid exceeds 2250 km and will have an initial bandwidth capacity of 400Gbps for supporting voice and data connectivity. The CANI-SMC has an eventual capacity of 6.4 terabits per fibre pair. One fibre pair is earmarked for excluxive use by Defence (A&N Command). Once the project is completed, citizens of A&N Islands will experience an overall improvement in ICT services nearly on par with that of mainland.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) are the project implementation agency (including operations for 05 years), nominated by DoT/USOF. The turnkey contract has been awarded to M/s NEC Technologies India Ltd. According to CGM, A&N Telecom Circle, the CANI-SMC project is being constructed at a total cost of around Rs 1200 crores, funded by USOF, Govt. of India. The project will play a significant role in bridging the digital divide and for spreading the various e-governance programmes in the Emerald Isles.

  • Union Minister for Communications, Electronic and Information Technology and Law & Justice, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad addressing the in inaugural function of the undersea Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) laying work at Hotel Le Royal Meridien, Chennai.
  • The Lt. Governor, A&N Islands and Vice-Chairman, Islands Development Agency, Admiral DK Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.) addressing the inaugural function of the undersea Optical Fibre Cable.
  • Union Minister for Communications, Electronics and Information Technology and Law & Justice.
  • Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Communication Electronics & IT flagging-off the ship KT Responder.

The challenge or dream of getting the world class medical facilities through this digital initiative will now become a reality for the people of the Islands. The Govt. spans over the sky (satellite) to under the sea (submarine cable). Presently, the communication to A&N Islands is through satellite and with the laying of submarine cable, it would be connected under water/sea with parts of sea depth more than 3 kms. Traffic handling capacity would increase 4000%. This is the first time such a gigantic exercise is taken up by GoI through BSNL, the Minister said adding that GoI has also approved the submarine cable project for connecting Lakshadweep with Cochin at a cost of Rs 1200 crores.


Digital economy is expected to contribute to 1 Trillion dollars. He stated that he would be personally very happy to see the people of Andaman & Nicobar Islands strength their emotional connect more through this digital connect. This submarine link will open the global gates for tourism and community development of the people of A&N Islands. The submarine cable project would multiply the speed and reliability of data and voice telephone facilities manifold in the Islands, resulting in a boost to its economy and life standards. He said, it will greatly improve the services, governance delivery and skill development, besides helping the defence forces immensely. He said, the project would yield long-term dividends for the public.

The contract 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 Islands, Long Island and Rangat. The total cable length will be approximately 2,300km and carry 100Gb/s optical waves. 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, General Manager, 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.

The Lt. Governor said through, the internet bandwidth has increased almost three-fold in last two years from 1.233 Gbps (December 2017) to 3.548 Gbps (at present), it has only provided some relief to domestic segment. With completion of the transformational Submarine OFC Project connecting Chennai to Port Blair and seven other Islands with Optical Fibre Link by June 2020, the bandwith augmentation then will be almost 60times of the present bandwidth and will indeed give a boost to the economic activity.

The Lt. Governor said that new devices/innovations have given us more ways to harness the power of connectivity and functionality than we could have imagined and ICTs and digital e-skills are providing engines of inclusion, economic growth and development. Towards this end, the increased bandwidth coupled with projects being implemented by Department of Telecommunications such as BharatNet and BTS covering all uncovered villages, will ensure availability of the Government services to last mile and guarantee service delivery within the stipulated time. He said, the A&N Administration, besides making substantial progress in implementing various core projects for e-governance, has also drawn plans to use robust telecom connectivity for tele-education, tele-medicine, etc, apart from improving the facilities for tourists at important tourist destinations. The Lt. Governor further stated that the Tourism and Hospitality industry is a major segment of economy in the A&N Islands, which is blessed with over 92% Green cover. The tourist alone cannot be sufficient to realize the full economic, strategic and HR potential of these Islands.

The Lt. Governor thanked the BSNL for their support and urged them to closely associate/monitor technical aspects of the work being executed at all the nodes, and also ensure that there is no lag between completion of the project and last mile connectivity with the end users of the bandwidth. The submarine cables will be initially laid from Chennai to Port Blair, covering a distance of 1,461 km. Afterwards it will be extended to Rangat, Long Island, Swaraj Dweep, HutBay, Car Nicobar, Kamorta and Campbell Bay in the Union Territory. The works are expected to be completed by June this capacity to transfer 6.4 tera-bytes of data per second by each fibre pair. At the initial stage of commissioning of the project itself, the Islands can get a data speed of 400 gigabytes per second. The Islanders dream to witness/handle internet/ data speed at par with that of Mainland India is going to be fulfilled shortly. A&N Islands will see an overall improvement of the entire spectrum of telecom services in the A&N Islands and it will make the entire Union Territory of A&N Islands as a smart territory.

Note: A&N Islands is a proud part of India and has blossomed into a truly Mini India.

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