The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced the launch of the submarine Optical Fiber Cable (OFC) connectivity between Chennai and Andaman and Nicobar Islands (CANI project). The 2300 km undersea high-speed cable enables telecom operators to offer enhanced mobile and broadband services to the residents of Andaman and Nicobar. Further, the CANI project is said to boost e-governance, tourism and strengthen India’s strategic maritime security. The foundation stone for the project was laid on December 30, 2018. Modi said that the connectivity would now provide “endless opportunities” in the islands.
PM Launches OFC Connectivity Between Mainland and Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The Indian Prime Minister on Monday said that the service had begun on a “major chunk of the islands” from Chennai to Port Blair. Further, the OFC connectivity is also said to be live between Port Blair to Little Andaman and Port Blair to Swaraj Island.
In a release on Friday, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) highlighted that the OFC will deliver 2x 200 Gbps between Chennai and Port Blair along with 2x100 Gbps between Port Blair and other islands.
Modi said that the project had overcome several challenges including high waves, storms and monsoons coupled with the tough times owing to COVID-19 pandemic. The Prime Minister also said that “providing better and cheap connectivity” to the residents of Andaman and Nicobar “is the responsibility of the country.”
“Provision of reliable, robust and high-speed telecom and Broadband facilities in these Islands will be a landmark achievement from the viewpoint of consumers, as well as for strategic and governance reasons,” a PMO release on Friday said. “4G mobile services, which were constrained due to limited backhaul bandwidth provided via satellite will also see a major improvement.”
Modi said that the OFC will aid the residents of Andaman and Nicobar in receiving the benefits of Digital India including enhancements to online education, tele-medicine, banking system, online trading and boosting tourism.
BSNL to Enhance Connectivity in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on Sunday said that its users will receive “enhanced data services” following the inauguration of the OFC connectivity between Chennai to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
“BSNL announces a bonza in terms of high internet speed and multiple times increase in volume of data downloads to all its wireline and mobile customers in the islands,” BSNL said in a release on Sunday.
The state-run operator said that its ADSL broadband users will now be offered higher speeds up to 10 Mbps while the data limits are enhanced up to 15 times. BSNL said that its ADSL broadband users will be provided data limits in the range of 30GB to 750GB per month on its existing plans. The operator also said that the FUP speeds post data exhaustion of the allotted data will also be enhanced from 512 kbps to up to 2 Mbps on certain plans.
Similarly, the operator said that the BSNL Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) users will also be offered speeds up to 100 Mbps and up to 15 times more data volume on its plans. It was said that BSNL had enhanced data limits on its FTTH plans in the range of 60GB to 1500GB. Further, the users on BSNL FTTH plans will also be offered higher speeds post the exhaustion of data allowance from 512 kbps to up to 4 Mbps on certain plans.
Crucially, the operator said that the ADSL users and FTTH users will be offered enhanced speeds and higher data limits at existing price points and that BSNL will not increase the monthly tariff.
Additionally, BSNL said that its mobile users will also be offered enhanced data limits in the range of two to 20 times on all existing plans. The operator said that the existing voice minutes and SMS on its plans will remain the same despite the increase in data limits. BSNL also said that “10 new customer friendly plans” will also be introduced in Andaman and Nicobar with validity in the range of seven days to one year. The 10 new plans are said to offer “high data volume” to the residents of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
It has to be noted that BSNL was earlier set to revamp its broadband, FTTH and mobile plans in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on July 1. However, the operator pushed back the revamp of its plans that was tied to the CANI project to August.