ITI has bagged the ASCON (Army Static Switched Communication Network) Phase IV project by defeating RailTel, BEL (Bharat Electronics Ltd.) and Sterlite.
In the financial bid, ITI was L1 at Rs. 6,900 crore, RailTel was L2 at Rs. 7,900 crore and BEL was L3 at Rs. 12,000 crore. Sterlite qualified in the technical bid but didn’t participate in the financial bid.
Speaking to DigiAnalysys, S. Gopu, CMD, ITI said, “The ASCON Phase IV turnkey order from defence forces will be in continuation with Phase I, II and III of ASCON which has been established in the last 25 years and is being maintained by ITI till date. The Phase IV project includes: Civil work, electronics, communications and satellite network.
The ASCON Phase IV project will be a big boost for ITI and the company is planning to cross revenues of Rs. 2,000 crore in FY2017-18 for the first time in the last six years added Gopu.
Bid Price of ASCON Phase IV Project:
L1 – ITI – Rs. 6,900 Cr
L2 – RailTel – Rs. 7,900 Cr
L3 – BEL – Rs 12,000 Cr
Sterlite – Didn’t participate in financial bid
ASCON is the digital secure backbone network of Indian Army for supporting and providing voice, video and data services to Indian Army. ASCON is a project of national importance being executed in phases under the Ministry of Defence (MoD). ASCON Phase IV covers, Northern, Western, Central, North Eastern and Southern regions of India as well as some stations in the hinterland.
ASCON Phase IV includes planning, installation, commissioning, testing, optimization, operation, maintenance and training of Multiprotocol Next Generation Network (NGN), ASCON Phase IV is based on IP/MPLS over an optical DWDM backbone, secured using next generation GigE Bulk Encryption Units (BEUs), duly approved by Scientific Advisory Group (SAG), with end to end operation, administration and maintenance (OAM), scalability and management of quality of service (QoS).
The ASCON Phase IV project covers:
1. Establishment of proposed network i.e. laying of OFC, installation and commissioning of network elements etc. on a turnkey basis to interconnect approximately 300 locations across the country. Integration of the existing ASCON Phase-3 network (ATM based) with the proposed network.
2. Site preparation in terms of civil works to include construction of new sites, modification of existing sites, fabrication and erection of towers, power conditioning and environmental control.
3. Establishment of geographically redundant Network Operation Centers (NOCs) and Network Management System (NMS) for this project should be hierarchical.
4. Establishment of a Satellite Overlay Network based on MFTDMA technology with two geographically redundant hubs ensuring seamless inter-workability with existing SCPC DAMA /PAMA network.
5. Establishment of high capacity, scalable, DWDM based transmission network with IP/MPLS routing and switching solution.
6. Establishment of secure high capacity microwave radio links.
7. Establishment of mobile nodes to include both switching and satellite nodes on high mobility platforms.
8. Provide T&M equipment for all network elements to include OFC, DWDM, IP/MPLS backbone, radio, satellite etc.
9. Ensure network synchronization and carry out network audit.
10. Training of the users at various levels.
The ASCON Phase IV is a Pan-India turnkey project and includes: rollout of a highly resilient exclusive 24 fibre, Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) based optical backbone network comprising almost 300 locations spanning over a distance of approximately 10,000 kms. This would entail procurement, trenching, laying, testing and maintenance of OFC, in a topology managed by GIS based optical fibre Network Management System (NMS).
It also includes establishment of high capacity, scalable, DWDM based Transmission Network comprising approximately 50 locations based on 4/8 degree ROADM with GMPLS control plane and providing 40/80 channels of 10G each upgradable to 40/100G each. Even establishment of exclusive carrier-class IETF based core IP/MPLS backbone network with switching and routing solution will interconnect approximately 300 locations spread across the country. The network will also establish approximately 35 high capacity STM -1 microwave links in 7 to 8 GHz range.
The project include establishment of a Satellite Overlay Network consisting of approximately 70 static sites in C-band and up to 5 transportable VSAT in Ku-band, based on MFTDMA technology with geographically redundant existing hubs and ensuring seamless inter- workability with existing SCPC DAMA/PAMA network comprising of 22 sites in C band. The project also includes site preparation in terms of civil works to include construction of approximately 200 new sites, modification of 40 existing sites, fabrication and erection of 60 towers, power conditioning and environmental control.
The project includes 3 years of completion, 2 years of warranty and annual maintenance contract of 8 years. The scope of the project includes establishment of geographically redundant Network Operation Centers (NOCs) and Network Management System (NMS). A full-fledged test bed will also come up with suitable ‘test and measurement equipment’, as part of this project, wherein various network elements would be networked and tested.