Carrier-grade FSO systems in the air

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CeBIT saw the launch of several free-space optics communication systems with improved capabilities such as carrier-grade applications independent of weather.

According to Anthony Bladon, VP of Holoplex Technologies, most systems use 780 or 850nm lasers, so eye safety standards are met through low beam divergence (up to 11mrad). This limits working range to 500m for niche applications, and in less foggy climates.

Holoplex launched an enhanced system targeting cellular back-haul, which needs a range of 1-4km. It claims the industry's most collimated laser: an eye-safe 1,550nm laser gives divergence of 30mrad over 2km for a beam diameter of just 0.2m, enabling better data security. Continuous tracking by an active control system allows low signal-to-noise ratio, less attenuation and high bandwidth for last-mile.

"A carrier can finally achieve the reliability over longer link distances and the cost-effectiveness that make mainstream deployment realistic," claims Bladon.

Prague-based Miracle Networks launched the Miracle 4020, after trialling since December with state operator Czech Telecom. This also uses a 1550nm laser with self-guiding focusing for 155-622Mbit/s transmission up to 2km. Dynamic range is 30dB, allowing last-mile and backbone LAN and WAN applications for voice and video.

Münster-based Communication By Light was also showing its AirLaser IP100 system with integrated microwave back-up.

CBL has installed over 1000 systems since 1990, progressing through the 850nm 43Mbit/s LED-Link 300 (range: 300m) in 1991; 155Mbit/s Laser-Link 2000 in 1992, with a 1300nm laser network interface and dynamic range >30dB up to 2km.

US-British-Hungarian joint venture LaserBit Communications also launched four new products to enhance its 400m-range systems, providing greater availability and stability, higher processing speeds (156Mbit/s) and remote monitoring.

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