PM inaugurates 2,300-km long submarine OFC connecting Chennai, Port Blair

PM inaugurates 2,300-km long submarine OFC connecting Chennai, Port Blair

In a major boost to telecom services in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the first ever under sear Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) connecting Chennai and Port Blair to ensure high speed broadband connectivity for the Union Territory that is at par with services in the mainland. Bharti Airtel has been operating in Andaman and Nicobar since 2005 and was the first private operator to launch mobile services in the islands.

Mr Modi said under the Act-East policy, the role of Andaman and Nicobar in India's strong relations with East Asian countries and other countries connected to the sea is very high and is going to increase.

"There is a proposal to build a transhipment port at Great Nicobar at an estimated expenditure of about Rs 10,000 crore".

The dedicated container transshipment terminal at the strategic port locale in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands along the Bay of Bengal coastline offers two geographical advantages - proximity to the busy east-west global shipping route that can facilitate shorter transits and greater economies of scale, and deep natural water depths that can accommodate the latest generation of mega-ships.

For the past few years, the Indian government has expedited the development of its strategy to enhance its ability to conduct surveillance of Chinese warships and submarines entering the India Ocean Region (IOR) through the nearby Malacca Straits - one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

According to official data, an internet speed of 400 gigabytes (Gb) per second will be provided at Port Blair and for other islands, it will be 200 Gb per second.

The work of laying undersea cable has been executed by BSNL in a record time of less than 24 months.

4G mobile services will get a big boost on these islands due to OFC connectivity.

He said the Port Blair Airport is being enhanced to handle a capacity of 1,200 passengers. It has also stationed long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft Poseidon 8I planes at the naval base in Andaman. This was also a reason that despite the need of this facility for years, it could not be worked on.

He said that this optical fibre cable project, connecting Andaman and Nicobar with rest of the country is a symbol of our commitment towards ease of living.

The company in the release said that the "blazing fast speeds" on Airtel's 4G network will provide "world-class digital experience" to the users in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The hashtag - #AndamanAndNicobarWithPM - is trending at the top spot in Twitter India.

India's OFC market stood at $881.5 million in 2019 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.7 percent to reach $2.1 billion by 2024, market analysis firm TechSci Research had recently reported.

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