As per the existing telecom licensing regime in India, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) establishes the orders, regulations and directions on telecommunications sector, while the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) issues licenses.
The company laying submarine cables in Indian Territorial Waters must hold a valid International Long Distance (ILD) license issued by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). International Long-Distance Operators (ILDOs) licensees are allowed to set up Cable Landing Station (CLS) for landing of submarine cables, governed by the regulations/orders as may be made by the TRAI from time to time.
On June 19, 2023, TRAI issued the recommendations on ‘Licensing Framework and Regulatory Mechanism for Submarine Cable Landing in India’, recommending two categories of Cable Landing Station (CLS) locations – (a) Main CLS and (b) CLS Point of Presence (CLS-PoPs).
According to TRAI, there were 17 international subsea cables (Seacom and MENA are considered seperate cables) landing in 14 distinct cable landing stations in 5 cities across India, in Mumbai, Chennai, Cochin, Tuticorin and Trivandrum, and the lit capacity and the activated capacity on these 17 international subsea cables were 138.606Tbps and 111.111Tbps respectively, as the end of 2022.
There are also domestic submarine cables such as the Chennai-Andaman and Nicobar Island Cable (CANI) onnecting Port Blair along with seven other Islands of Andaman & Nicobar, and the Kochi-Lakshadweep Island (KLI) cable system for a direct communication link through a dedicated submarine optical fiber cable between Kochi and 11 Islands of Lakshadweep.
To have a full picture about submarine cables landing in India, please read following articles by an Indian expert Mr. Suvesh Chattopadhyaya:
According to Mr. Suvesh Chattopadhyaya's contribution, here is a complete list of submarine cables landing in India: