Typically, such projects are won by multinational companies.
However, given that the network will be used for defence purposes, the Navy seems to have preferred an Indian vendor.
Nevertheless, it will be a challenge and an opportunity for an Indian company to design, build and operate an advanced and intrusion-proof digital network that will stretch to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as well as Lakshadweep.
Sterlite, which had obtained an ‘advance purchase order’ in February, said it has been signing on new partners and hiring new employees for the last few months, in anticipation of the order.
“We are ready to begin work,” said KS Rao, CEO – Telecom Services Business, Sterlite Tech.
The project includes the creation of an independent high-capacity end-to-end communications network, linking multiple Indian naval sites and India-administered islands.
It also includes the setting-up of highly secure data centres and Big Data content delivery networks that are software-defined.
“This is the first time an integrated end-to-end digital network at such a scale is being built in India,” said CEO Anand Agarwal.
The biggest challenge will be to ensure that the network cannot be hacked into by foreign governments like that of China and the US, whose agencies are reported to have access to most fiber-optic networks in the world.
Sterlite Tech said it has “proven expertise and experience in building intrusion-proof” networks and “has been at the forefront with India’s most advanced command control centre technology.”