Our Indian Defence forces symbolize the ideals of service, patriotism, and composite culture of the country. They are always committed to their mission critical goals of peacekeeping, humanitarian missions and national security, safeguarding our nation against all odds. The defence telecom project, conceptualised in 2010, marks how the 3G airwaves vacated by armed forces enabled the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to auction 3G spectrum four years ago. The 3G spectrum auction was done for frequencies that laid the foundation for the next-gen telecom services. The deployment of 3G services gave a tremendous boost to the telecom sector by increasing rural penetration of the telecom services to bring about economic and social development.
A step in the service of the nation
While the Ministry of Defence took this huge step in the service of the nation and released 20 MHz of 2G and 25 MHz of 3G spectrum for commercial use, the Department of Telecom (DoT) committed to set up an exclusive network, solely for defence communication purpose. In 2012, the Ministry of Defence and DoT conceptualized a network to connect critical defence locations, under the Network for Spectrum (NFS) project.
The DoT gave BSNL the responsibility for constructing a mega communications network, for the armed forces, that has several key packages, including the optical fibre backbone, network management systems, and a satellite network.
Serving the country is instilled in STL’s DNA. STL understood the criticality of the project and equipped defence forces with a robust network, for servicing the nation. STL engaged with the MoD to design, build, and manage an intrusion-proof, defence-grade, highly secured communication network.
The project envisaged creating an optical fibre-based network for the exclusive communication use of defence. The project was crucial and in the national interest as, going forward, the armed forces agreed to migrate all their communication needs to this alternate network and vacate more bandwidth for commercial telephony.
Deploying OFC in the toughest terrains
The most crucial component of NFS was the deployment of the Optic-fibre Cable (OFC) in the geological strata of the sensitive region of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). It is one of India’s most sensitive areas in all geopolitical aspects, be it terrorism, border infiltration, or extreme weather conditions.
The results were achieved with pride. A critical infrastructure in both telecommunications and power transmission was established in the national interest, aiding our brave soldiers with seamless communication. With a bottoms-up approach, enabling realistic planning & preparation for the worst case scenarios, STL achieved top quality rollouts in one of the most challenging terrains of the world.
The world’s largest end-to-end intrusion-proof, highly secure, scalable, cost optimized, and smart network infrastructure for defence forces was created in J&K and the capabilities in the power and telecom space were being put to use in India’s critical corridors.
The project was marked by the best cable laying standards and practices including intrusion-proof cable technology, network monitoring, and GIS mapping, making it the most advanced and secure network for the armed forces.
The NFS has boosted the communication capabilities of defence forces in a major way enhancing national operational preparedness and real-time connect in the highest battlefield of the world. Besides, it has enabled forward linkages to other related industries such as telecom equipment manufacturing and telecom related services – all this in the service of the nation!