Wireless technology that would transmit data more than 16 times faster than present lasers will be available in March, Lucent Technologies said last week.
Lucent told PC Week that its Wavestar Opticair system uses dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) laser technology to offer 2.5Gbps of data transmission over 5km. Present wireless technology transmits data up to 155Mbps.
Lucent also said it expects to offer data transmission four times faster yet by next summer via DWDM.
The company would not disclose how much it would charge for either system, but Kathy Szelag, marketing vice president in the optical networking group, said that the 2.5Gbps Wavestar would cost no more per wavelength than a fibre based system.
She did agree, however, that £64,500 for a connection would "fit in" with the planned pricing.
Wavestar is intended for situations in which the laying of fibre cables is either impossible or impractical, for example in dense metropolitan areas or on moving objects such as ships.
Its two inch laser beam has 99 per cent reliability, but environmental factors such as fog can affect its efficiency. So accurate positioning of the laser, aided by an autotracking system, is essential.
Lucent said it had received some interest in the system already from broadcasters that are now forced to lease fixed equipment at outdoor events. The system could also work in parallel with other data channels, the company said, relieving bandwidth crowding.
"Optical technology will be as important in the 21st Century as electricity has been in the 20th century," predicted Harry Bosco, chief executive of Lucent's optical networking group.
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