wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Kochi-Lakshadweep subsea cable to be laid by NEC despite Indian telecom bodies crying foul

The KLI project meant to deliver 200 Gbps of bandwidth to the islands, faced allegations that its tender conditions were unfair.

After the 2,300 kilometer-long submarine cable between Chennai and Andaman & Nicobar Islands (CANI) was launched last year, the Lakshadweep Islands are set to get one as well – and much to the dismay of Indian telecom equipment manufacturers, it will be in partnership with the same foreign company that was behind CANI.

According to a report by the Hindu BusinessLine, Japanese conglomerate NEC’s Indian subsidiary NEC Technologies India has won the bid for the Rs 1,072-crore Kochi Lakshadweep Islands (KLI) project. NEC had previously laid down the CANI submarine cable in partnership with state-owned telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).

The submarine cable network in the Lakshadweep Islands is expected to provide a capacity of 200 Gigabytes per second (Gbps) to all 11 islands of the archipelago, connecting it with Kochi. According to a 2019 report by the government’s Universal Service Obligation Fund, the islands currently have 352 Megabytes per second (Mbps) satellite bandwidth. Earlier this year, multiple Indian telecom bodies wrote to the government saying that the tender for the project disqualified everyone but the NEC from winning the bid.

Claims of unfair tender conditions

According to a report, the Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association (TEMA) and the PHD Chambers of Commerce wrote 20 letters in February, before the tender was even released, objecting to BSNL’s decision of framing the tender along the lines of the CANI project. These letters, sent to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Cabinet Secretary, Principle Scientific Advisor, NITI Aayog CEO, Telecom Secretary, USOF Administrator, and the BSNL CMD, claimed that the eligibility criteria of the tender restricted companies from applying for it.

TEMA and PHD also objected to the tender’s requirement for ‘Repeatered Technology’ in the project, which they said would unnecessarily add to the cost of the project. Repeatered Technology is used to boost signals over those distances that optical fibre cables cannot relay the signal.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

A senior official told BusinessLine that only one company met the criteria and got eligible. The official added that the project was approved by the Digital Communications Commission at its last meeting.

PM Modi declared KLI completion by 2023

Last year, during the Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly announced that the KLI project would be complete in the ‘next 1000 days’.

In March, Israeli firm NovelSat announced that it had been awarded a contract from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited to expand satellite internet access in the Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands.

Also read:

Have something to add? Post your comment and gift someone a MediaNama subscription.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

I cover health and education technology for MediaNama. Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



The US and other countries' retreat from a laissez-faire approach to regulating markets presents India with a rare opportunity.


When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.


The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.


In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...


By Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy The use of new technology, including facial recognition technology (FRT) by police...

You May Also Like


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ