BSNL Connects Lakshadweep Islands with Mainland India

NEC India together with NEC Corporation announced the successful completion of an optical fiber submarine cable system connecting the Lakshadweep islands to the mainland India. The new undersea cable system owned by the incumbent telecom operator, BSNL will connect the islands in Southern India with Kochi, which is the financial capital of the southern state of Kerala.

The name of the fiber optic submarine cable system is shortly known as KLI – Kochi-Lakshadweep Islands Submarine Cable (KLI), and is developed under the Government of India’s ‘Digital India’ Mission.

Funded by the Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) under the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, the project was executed by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the incumbent telecommunications company under the ownership of the Government of India.

BSNL has selected NEC India for this project in September 2021. The project was completed ahead of the actual schedule. KLI fiber optic submarine cable system spans approximately 1,870 kilometers. KLI cable system offers an initial capacity of 2×100 Gbps, expandable up to 1.6 Tbps per fiber pair.

Fiber optic cable connecting Lakshadweep

KLI fiber optic cable system connects Kochi, a major port city in India, with the following 11 Lakshadweep islands:


Providing ample bandwidth for voice and data connectivity, the cable supports e-Governance initiatives, facilitates new enterprises, and enables e-commerce facilities. Aligned with the Digital India Mission, it aids knowledge sharing in educational institutes and ensures electronic access to Government services for citizens.

Japan-based NEC has been a leading global vendor in the submarine cable system business for over 60 years, manufacturing submarine cables, submarine repeaters, and terminal station equipment, in addition to coordinating marine surveys and route design, equipment installation work, cable laying, training and delivery testing.

NEC used to procure submarine cable-laying ships for each project separately until recently. In order to respond to the growing demand for new submarine cables due to the recent spread of 5G and the increase in data traffic between data centres in various countries, NEC has chartered a long-term dedicated cable-laying ship for the first time. With this strategy change, NEC will provide submarine cable systems more quickly and flexibly than ever before to meet customer demand.

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