L&T to provide network monitoring for Indian Army

Construction firm Larsen & Toubro said it has won a large deal — worth Rs 2,500-5,000 cr — to create a monitoring and management solution for Indian Army’s pan-India fiber-optic communications network.

The network, part of India’s network for spectrum project, was envisioned almost ten years ago as a way for the armed forces to give back vast chunks of radio spectrum for use in civilian 3G and 4G services.

In the late 2000s, the armed services were promised a fiber-based, state-of-the-art communication system in lieu of giving up the spectrum.

While the spectrum was released long back, and 3G and 4G services have been in use for almost a decade, the setting up of the fiber-based network has taken much longer than expected. The latest contract signifies one of the final stages of the project.

The network has to be resilient and be able to withstand the snooping powers of countries like the US and China.

Under the latest contract, L&T will set up “a first-of-its-kind, state-of-the-art Unified Network Management System to manage, support and operate” the army’s network.

The project will involve the creation of a “resilient Cloud based IT infrastructure” on Infrastructure as a service (IAAS) model, which means that L&T will be in charge of maintaining the monitoring and control equipment on its end.

L&T will deploy a Next Generation Operations System and Software (NGOSS)-based Unified Network Management System, Eight
Network Operations Centers (NOCs) consisting of National NOCs, Disaster Recovery NOCs, Regional NOCs, Security Operation Centers, Tier III Data Centres and Training Infrastructure.

SN Subrahmanyan, CEO & managing director of L&T, said the project is ‘extremely crucial and sensitive’ for the country and it was a matter of pride that it has been entrusted to the construction major.

“It involves creating a centralized network monitoring, management and control system for all the seven layers under NFS [network for spectrum] which interconnects 414 defence stations,” he said.

The solution deployed by L&T will allow “real time monitoring of the complete IT network backbone of the Indian army and provide complete visibility of deployed network assets, leading to optimal utilization of resources”.

From the description of the project, it is unlikely that the L&T will be in charge of encrypting and/or securing the platform, which is likely to be done in-house or by an encrypted communication specialist.

On the other hand, the company will be responsible for ensuring that the network continues to work optimally in all kinds of situation and does not go under or become unavailable at any time.

The project is to be implemented in 18 months followed by 3 years of warranty and 7 years of annual maintenance contracts, during which L&T will provide managed maintenance services, including service level monitoring, service impact analysis and root cause analysis for the countrywide Armed Forces Next Generation Network.