One of India’s leading fiber optic product suppliers, HFCL (Himachal Futuristic Communications Limited) has won contracts worth around US$185 million for the supply of electronic equipment to build fiber optic backbone networks for the armed forces. The advanced purchase order for procurement has been issued by the State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL), the national telecom operator in India which is responsible for the deployment. The backbone network will utilize Dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology to deliver optical signals.
BSNL targets to finish the entire scope of the contract within 18 months in various phases. The project for Indian defense, managed by BSNL has been delayed due to the careless administration for which the telecom operator was severely criticized by the policymakers in India. The total project cost was estimated to be around US$2 billion. The project called Spectrum (NFS) project provides an exclusive network for India’s defense system, bringing reliability and security to the data transmitted over the network.
There are 4 to 5 portions of the NFS project like the optical fiber cable installation part, for which a contract had already been awarded two years back. Network deployment work is already in progress. There is an electronics part for the information technology network and DWDM portion for which HFCL has emerged as the lowest (L1) bidder. In India, telecom product suppliers are selected based on the lowest quoted bidder in a nationwide tender process. Interested suppliers whose products are already approved by the Type approval section of BSNL
DWDM is wavelength-division multiplexing(WDM) technology in which a number of optical carrier signals are multiplexed onto a single optical fiber by using different wavelengths of light. WDM enables bidirectional communications over a single fiber, as well as multiplication of transmission capacity. DWDM increases the capacity of a network and allows multiple information streams to be transmitted simultaneously over a single fiber and thereby reduces the dependency on high-count fiber cables.
BSNL is managing the project on behalf of the department of telecommunications and the funds for the project will be provided by the central government. The NFS project, originally conceived by India’s previous ruling Congress party, and was approved by the central government on July 3, 2012. The project was originally planned to be completed in 36 months. The project involves the installation of 60,000 km of optical fiber cables that incorporating Non-zero single mode optical fibers complying with ITU-T G.655 recommendations as well.