ST Engineering iDirect’s Dialog® Platform deployed by BSNL to connect remote Indian Islands


ST Engineering iDirect, a global leader in satellite communications, has been awarded a contract by system integrator Shaf Broadcast, Pvt. Ltd, on behalf of the Indian state-owned telecommunications company, BSNL, to augment satellite bandwidth to the offshore Indian islands of Andaman, Nicobar and Lakshadweep under a Universal Service Obligation (USO) project funded by the Department of Telecommunications. Utilizing the award-winning Newtec Dialog® platform to provide internet and 2G, 3G and 4G services, the connectivity will boost social and economic activity to islands that previously had limited access to bandwidth.

Lakshadweep is a tropical archipelago of 36 atolls and coral reefs off the coast of Kerala, South West India, with a total population of some 70,000 people. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are located at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, and are home to some 380,000 people scattered over 38 inhabited islands. Both archipelagos are Union Territories, which the Central Government of India is keen to develop as tourist destinations and economic hubs.

Existing Single Channel Per Carrier (SCPC) links across the islands are in need of further upgrades to support the growth of required applications that will enhance socio-economic activity across the islands. The deployment of the Dialog multi-service platform will deliver cost effective, fiber-like connectivity to meet the high demands of island users, ensuring a connectivity experience that is on a par with communications on the Indian mainland. Dialog promotes the optimal utilization of available satellite resources through more efficient use of bandwidth thanks to its dynamic return technology Mx-DMA, driving down costs and offering BSNL the capability to scale and expand when required to meet future needs.

Shaf Broadcast examined many different technologies looking for the optimum in high-speed connectivity, scalability and efficiency of the satellite bandwidth and concluded that the Dialog platform is best suited to serve BSNL’s current and future needs.

“This project is critical as it meets the growing connectivity requirements of these important island states,” said Sanjay Kumar, General Manager (Radio), BSNL. “It was integral to the project that we selected the right partner and technology in order to meet the stringent timelines as this will be closely monitored by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Department of Telecommunications. The Dialog platform will allow us to dynamically allocate bandwidth as demand varies from island to island and offers flexibility as well as the capability to run many different types of applications, both fixed and mobile. We look forward to offering those living and working on the islands the connectivity that will enable them to grow and prosper despite their remote location.”

Under the USO-funded Project, BSNL will make it possible to deliver a broad range of applications to these Indian islands, from cellular backhaul and enterprise connectivity to maritime and remote community Wi-Fi, as well as the ability to connect with other Indian states.

“Through the Dialog platform, BSNL can take advantage of its unique benefits, such as Mx-DMA return technology which allows more efficient sharing of satellite capacity across a group of remotes, therefore lowering total cost of ownership,” said Sjoerd De Clerck, Regional Vice President of Asia, ST Engineering iDirect. “The multi-service capability offered by Dialog will enable BSNL to develop creative service plans to meet many different requirements, such as 2G, 3G and 4G services through embedded optimization and acceleration and high-speed, high-performance broadband services to every resident. We are delighted to offer this advanced suite of capabilities to accelerate development of these islands.”

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