We discuss the following topics in this blog:
- Overcoming the tough terrains of J&K to provide connectivity.
- Communication network laid down amidst shelling.
In addition to these topics, we shall also be answering the following FAQs:
- What is an Optical Fibre Cable?
- What is 5G?
How STL Overpowered the Tough Terrains of J&K?
Hills are tough terrains and it is even tougher to capture them for any utility but when it came to the strategic area of Jammu & Kashmir STL never looked at the uphill task as impossible. This is the story of a team and their unphased willpower that stood strong in the making of India’s defence telecommunication fiber laid down at Jammu & Kashmir where challenges are immense and the results are achieved with pride.
As the department of telecommunications began work on 57,000 km nationwide communication network for the exclusive use of defence forces through BSNL STL took up the challenge of deploying and maintaining nearly 10,000 kms of secure smart network for the highly tactically border areas of Jammu & Kashmir.
In 2013, the department of Telecommunication decided to separate networks for Indian defence services and they were looking for a very capable and competent system integrator to deploy such a large network across the country. STL thought this is a great opportunity to be involved and be a part of nation-building program. The task at hand connecting multiple defence forces in Jammu & Kashmir & Ladhak with a secured communication network and in real-time visibility on threats within India’s borders.
How was the NFS Project Carried Out Despite Challenges?
Pan India scope of the NFS project was around 57,000 km out of which 10,000 km was to be executed in Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladhak. To deliver this project in the World’s toughest terrain STL has used smarter network technologies and service innovations.
As everybody knows, this was one of the challenging projects. Jammu & Kashmir is a territory where such volume of fiber has never been laid and since it was an Army network, it was all the more difficult to handle. So when we started planning this project in the initial stages we realized that we have two large challenges that we have looked upon. One is working in a state like Jammu and Kashmir which is the most difficult part to work. The ease of doing business is very tough.
Towards that, we have brought the teams from the local regions off other places in the country who have requisite skills and competencies. The other challenge was about managing dumb multi-stakeholder collaboration which required a complex project like this. Towards addressing this the team started collaborating with the local authorities and reducing the dull process to minimize the touchpoints.
We started with the survey of the links, where we had to survey around 9000 kilometres. While conducting the survey also faced a lot of challenges because of doing network for the Army you have to go to the Line of Control of China and Pakistan sides. It was very difficult as there are a lot of shelling many problems and hindrances.
The Army areas were extremely difficult to get a hold of and were challenging to reach. We rented two containers of 40 and 20 feet and made an office out of it and around 20-25 people stayed there. We were working on a stretch at a height of around 13,000 feet above sea level.
What is an Optical Fibre Cable?
An optical fibre cable is a cable type that has a few to hundreds of optical fibres bundled together within a protective plastic coating. They help carry digital data in the form of light pulses across large distances at faster speeds. For this, they need to be installed or deployed either underground or aerially. Standalone fibres cannot be buried or hanged so fibres are bunched together as cables for the transmission of data.
This is done to protect the fibre from stress, moisture, temperature changes and other externalities. There are three main components of a optical fibre cable, core (It carries the light and is made of pure silicon dioxide (SiO2) with dopants such as germania, phosphorous pentoxide, or alumina to raise the refractive index; Typical glass cores range from as small as 3.7um up to 200um), Cladding (Cladding surrounds the core and has a lower refractive index than the core, it is also made from the same material as the core; 1% refractive index difference is maintained between the core and cladding; Two commonly used diameters are 125µm and 140µm) and Coating (Protective layer that absorbs shocks, physical damage and moisture; The outside diameter of the coating is typically either 250µm or 500µm; Commonly used material for coatings are acrylate,Silicone, carbon, and polyimide).
An optical fibre cable is made up of the following components: Optical fibres – ranging from one to many. Buffer tubes (with different settings), for protection and cushioning of the fibre. Water protection in the tubes – wet or dry. A central strength member (CSM) is the backbone of all cables. Armoured tapes for stranding to bunch the buffer tubes and strength members together. Sheathing or final covering to provide further protection.
The five main reasons that make this technology innovation disruptive are fast communication speed, infinite bandwidth & capacity, low interference, high tensile strength and secure communication. The major usescases of optical fibre cables include intenet connectivity, computer networking, surgery & dentistry, automotive industry, telephony, lighting & decorations, mechanical inspections, cable television, military applications and space.
What is WiFi?
Put simply, WiFi is a technology that uses radio waves to create a wireless network through which devices like mobile phones, computers, printers, etc., connect to the internet. A wireless router is needed to establish a WiFi hotspot that people in its vicinity may use to access internet services. You’re sure to have encountered such a WiFi hotspot in houses, offices, restaurants, etc.
To get a little more technical, WiFi works by enabling a Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN that allows devices connected to it to exchange signals with the internet via a router. The frequencies of these signals are either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidths. These frequencies are much higher than those transmitted to or by radios, mobile phones, and televisions since WiFi signals need to carry significantly higher amounts of data. The networking standards are variants of 802.11, of which there are several (802.11a, 802.11b, 801.11g, etc.).