ITI wins Rs 433 cr BharatNet project in TN

ITI Ltd, formerly known as Indian Telephone Industries, said it won a Rs 433 cr order from the Tamil Nadu government to set up part of the BhartNet Phase 2 project in the state.

BharatNet is an government of India project to create a pan-India fiber optic backbone that connects 2.55 lakh village panchayats in India, including even the most remote.

The backbone is being used by both public and private companies for their own in-house connectivity needs, as well as to support their commercial internet connectivity services.

ITI said the Tamil Nadu project involves planning, survey, supply, installation, commissioning, testing, integration, operation & maintenance of around 15,000 kms of optic fiber network and broadband electronics.

It has to be completed within 360 days, and ITI will also provide three years for operations & maintenance services.

This part of the network will involve providing 1 Gbps of connectivity to covering 10 districts in 109 blocks, touching 3,103 gram panchayats.

The Package also includes radio connectivity for Gram Panchayats that cannot be connected through fiber, and implementation of horizontal connectivity to government premises, schools, and primary health centres (PHCs).

The fiber cable includes underground and aerial fiber to connect Gram Panchayats with blocks, district centers, and state headquarter.

ITI, which at one time used to be the primary manufacturer of landline telephones in India, said it has already completed similar OFN work around India, including contracts worth Rs 4,500 cr in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The company is the Project Implementation Agency (PIA) for MahaNet-I (BharatNet Phase II) in Maharashtra, and is executing two packages of BharatNet Phase II for Gujarat Fiber Grid Network Ltd (GFGNL).

Government of India decided to set up BharatNet two decades ago, based on an assessment that waiting for private companies to lay fiber to the most remote parts of India would deprive these areas from the benefits of communications technology for decades.

However, BharatNet, like most government projects, has seen multiple deadline extensions and budget revisions.

Several private ISPs and telecom operators have started utilizing this fiber network to extend their connectivity to rural areas.

The project is crucial to ITI, which has been trying to reinvent itself as a modern telecom infrastructure contractor. The company has factories in Bengaluru, Naini, Raebareli, Mankapur, Srinagar and Palakkad, with in-house R&D centre in Bengaluru and Marketing, Sales & projects across the country.

The company’s offerings include setting up of all kinds of telecom infrastructure including switching, transmission, and access & subscriber premises equipment.

The company also has dedicated Network System Unit (NSU) for carrying out installation and commissioning of equipment and for undertaking turnkey projects and has contracts from defense and railway sectors.

It also manufactures solar equipment, NGN products, GPON, LED lighting systems, optical products, PMP microwave along with other allied products like HDPE, OFC, LI-ION batteries, smart cards, Micro PC/ Laptop, defense equipment, Wi-Fi etc.

ITI said it will focus on the key areas of defense, IOT, E-governance, IT projects and services sector going forward.