Laser Light to leverage free-space optics in space for Optical Satellite as a Service

Oct. 11, 2016
Laser Light Communications (US) and its affiliate firm, Laser Light Global, Ltd. (UK) has selected Equinix, Inc. (NASDAQ: EQIX) as its strategic interconnection provider for a network that will combine spaced-based optics and terrestrial fiber-optic network infrastructure to create an Optical Satellite as a Service (OSaaS) offering it calls SpaceCable. The resulting All Optical Hybrid Global Network (or HALO, as laser Light calls it) will offer 100-Gbps connectivity to carriers, enterprises, and government customers via Equinix facilities.

Laser Light Communications (US) and its affiliate firm, Laser Light Global, Ltd. (UK) has selected Equinix, Inc. (NASDAQ: EQIX) as its strategic interconnection provider for a network that will combine spaced-based optics and terrestrial fiber-optic network infrastructure to create an Optical Satellite as a Service (OSaaS) offering it calls SpaceCable. The resulting All Optical Hybrid Global Network (or HALO, as laser Light calls it) will offer 100-Gbps connectivity to carriers, enterprises, and government customers via Equinix facilities.

Laser Light will establish its first point of presence at Equinix's DC11 International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in metro Washington, DC. The company will use that facility as an initial stepping stone toward installation, testing, and demonstration of its capabilities, which will include not only laser communications but software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) capabilities as well.

According to the company's website, Laser Light will leverage 8 to 12 satellites in medium Earth orbit to create a network that will offer an initial service capacity of 7.2 Tbps. The satellites will pass signals among themselves and to the ground via free-space optics. The space interconnections will include 48 links of 200 Gbps apiece, as well as 72 steerable up/down links to Earth at 100 Gbps.

The company will complement the satellite network with its Extended Ground Network (XGNS) of terrestrial fiber. Laser Light says it will leverage software-defined networking (SDN) technology to fully leverage the network's spatial diversity for alternative routing to achieve the lowest latency as well as select route options to circumvent any changing atmospheric conditions the satellite transmissions may encounter.

The satellites and terrestrial network should be ready sometime in 2018, according to information on the company's website.

"A partnership with Equinix permits Laser Light to become a truly Tier 1 global carrier with access to facilities, and incumbent local fiber providers, in a 'one stop shop' partnership," said Robert Brumley, Laser Light's CEO. "Also, Equinix's mix of enterprise, global carriers, and government customers permits Laser Light to be present in the marketplace for high-volume data services in the key regional markets around the globe. We are excited that Equinix and Laser Light have formed this partnership in this stage of our development to draw on their extensive experience as a global facilities provider, and cooperate with us in our deployment of a unique, SDN global network."

"We are excited to work with Laser Light as the interconnection provider for this cutting-edge satellite technology that greatly increases access to many parts of the world that are underserved by current fiber and wireless networks," added Ihab Tarazi, CTO at Equinix. "By adding 'SpaceCable' as an equivalent offering together with terrestrial and submarine cables, Equinix customers looking for low latency solutions to reach new or emerging markets will have access to a full suite of data transport options."

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher

Stephen Hardy has covered fiber optics for more than 15 years, and communications and technology for more than 30 years. He is responsible for establishing and executing Lightwave's editorial strategy across its digital magazine, website, newsletters, research and other information products. He has won multiple awards for his writing.

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