Free space optics go commercial-class

Tue, 04/30/2002 - 8:00pm

Seeking to eliminate outages for the emerging free space optics (FSO) sector, AirFiber Inc. has launched the AirFiber 5800, an FSO platform that incorporates new levels of fault-tolerance and immunity to beam interference caused by birds and other intruders.

That combination will allow carriers to offer service level agreements through wireless FSO technology for the first time, as the system is designed to be immune to data loss.

If interference in the link occurs, AirFiber's proprietary Redundant Link Controller maintains error-free throughput by tapping data supplied via a parallel link. The RLC complements the AirFiber 5800's monitoring and control mechanisms, which automatically adjust to building sway and other environmental elements in order to keep the FSO link active.

Part of AirFiber's strategy is to sell gear to commercial carriers who want to tap customers in nearby buildings that don't have access to a fiber network, and don't want to spend the money to do so, said company Senior Vice President of Marketing Michael Sabo. Because FSO technology is wireless and the equipment is affixed to buildings, AirFiber or its carrier partners can get a customer up and running in a couple of days, he said.

Protocol agnostic, the AirFiber 5800 can run over Gigabit Ethernet or Sonet, and is priced at roughly $20,000 per link.

AirFiber also markets its Optimesh FSO product, which was introduced in April 2000 and uses ATM switching fabric.



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