LightPointe beaming faster

By Tim Greene, Network World |  Networking

Enterprises looking for high-bandwidth links between nearby corporate sites have a new option from free-space laser specialist LightPointe.

The company is introducing at NetWorld+Interop a new device called FlightLite 155 that connects sites at either 100M bit/sec or 155M bit/sec, matching speeds for Fast Ethernet LANs or for OC-3 fiber connections, respectively.

FlightLite costs $8,000 for a pair of transmitter/receivers, but the price is expected to drop because the price of optical components is dropping at 10% to 20% per year, says Lawrency Prior, LightPointe's CFO.

The device makes connections by beaming a laser between buildings at distances between 300 meters and 800 meters, depending on how foggy the area is.

In addition to connecting enterprise sites, FlightLites can be used to complete SONET rings in cases where rights of way are unavailable to run fiber-optic cable, Prior says.

The company's earlier devices run at 10M bit/sec or 20M bit/sec and cost $5,000.

The company has an OC-12 device for carriers. Later this year, LightPointe plans to release an OC-48 and a 1.25G bit/sec version of its optical gear.

LightPoint equipment connects to routers or switches on the LAN side via fiber ports.

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