& cplSiteName &

AOptix Rejoins the Backhaul Bandwagon

Robert Clark
News Analysis
Robert Clark
3/4/2014
50%
50%

After a decade of building broadband networks in the sky, AOptix Technologies has returned to commercial telecoms on Earth.

The Bay Area firm is eyeing Asia-Pacific markets in particular for its high-end wireless backhaul, which it's pitching as an alternative to fiber.

AOptix Technologies began life at the peak of the telecom bubble in 2000, when "free-space optics" plays had a mini-boom of their own: In 2002, the company raised $18 million in a finance round led by Lehman Brothers. (See AOptix Gets $18M.)

After the bubble burst, it turned its attention to the defense sector, and during the past dozen years has built a business offering up to 80Gbit/s air-to-air and air-to-ground links for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the US Air Force.

As chairman and CEO Dean Senner describes it, AOptix gear enables a jet travelling at Mach 0.8 to hit a four-inch target on another jet more than 200km away with an infra-red laser.

He says the mobile data revolution has drawn AOptix back to commercial telecom. In November 2013 it launched its Intellimax product line, which promises multi-gigabit speeds with five-9s reliability in the 70-80GHz range, for telcos and enterprises.

Senner says that by combining both optical and millimeter wave, it avoids the effects, respectively, of fog and rain fade that degrade those technologies when deployed separately.

"We look at it clearly as an alternative to fiber," Senner says. "If you have an application where microwave or milliwave can do the job, then you should use that technology. It will be cheaper."

As to just how much cheaper than fiber, AOptix doesn't have a clear answer on that yet.

In an emailed response to questions, an AOptix spokesperson stated: "As you can imagine, comparison figures, even percentages, get muddy because they differ when we're comparing the price wireless fiber to the costs of dark fiber, lit fiber and laying new fiber."

The Intellimax solution is being tested as a backhaul technology in field trials with three Tier 1 carriers, according to AOptix.

Besides backhaul, it is also being offered to enterprises for last-mile access where fiber isn't available.

AOptix isn't the only vendor still touting free-space optics, though, despite its reputation as a technology that promises more than it can deliver. LightPointe Communications Inc. , fSona Communications Corp. , and Skyfiber are just some of the other names still in the market. (See fSona Deploys in Lebanon and LightPointe Goes Down Under.)

— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
R Clark
50%
50%
R Clark,
User Rank: Blogger
3/10/2014 | 6:29:30 AM
Cost relative to fiber
An update. AOptix advises that the ROI on the Intellimax product is "typically realized in less than 12 months," depending on whether it is being compared to new, lit or dark fiber. 
From The Founder
Either we perform a complete 'factory reset' on the way the telecom industry creates and deploys virtualization, or we face the consequences.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mobile Operators & Video

4|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ovum's Ed Barton discusses the latest mobile operator strategies for mobile video.
LRTV Custom TV
Infinera Introduces Instant Network

4|20|17   |     |   (1) comment


Mike Capuano, vice president of marketing at Infinera, discusses the advancement from Instant Bandwidth to new Instant Network capabilities, which include Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE).
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up

4|19|17   |   4:25   |   (0) comments


Vodafone America's Head of Operations Kimberly Eubank breaks down the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and shares why both made a big difference in her career.
LRTV Custom TV
NYC Auto Show: Are We Smart Yet?

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


The auto industry is facing some big transformations as electric vehicles, autonomous technology and connected cars are seen as the future of the industry. During the much-anticipated NY international auto show, there was an emergence of new technology and mobility service on the show floor. Aside from performance, brands like Lincoln, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Impact of Video

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Mercer from Strategy Analytics discusses the impact of video on current strategies.
LRTV Custom TV
Pardeep Kohli Discusses Network Transformation & the Market Opportunity for the 'New' Mavenir Systems

4|13|17   |     |   (0) comments


In a brief discussion at MWC 2017, Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore talks to Pardeep Kohli, CEO, Mavenir Systems about the creation of the 'new Mavenir' and some of the key challenges facing operators in today's market. A key theme of the discussion centers around operator need for software-only, virtualized solutions and how they will need to adapt to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Tech Maverick Shares Her Tips for Gender Inclusivity

4|12|17   |   7:28   |   (0) comments


Wendy Hall Bohling, a corporate escapee, author and gender exclusivity consultant, tells her story of sexism, bias and progress along the road to gender equality in the workforce.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at MWC 2017

4|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress 2017, the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year, Huawei showcased its new innovations and solutions with the theme "Open Road," which focuses on cloud, 5G, operation transformation, videos and consumer-oriented products. Its campaign has been recognized by three awards given by GSMA.
LRTV Custom TV
China Telecom NFV Infrastructure on RSD

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Lynn Comp, senior director of market development of Intel, is joined by Chong Zhang, storage engineer at Inspur and Ou Li Yan, architect for technology strategies of China Telecom, for a discussion of what NFV brings.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's IMPACT Software Demo

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Khamis Abulgubein of IoT market development at Nokia demonstrates IMPACT (intelligent management platform for all connected things), a software solution with a horizontal approach to managing any device on any application.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia Introduces Virtual Service Router for More Rapid Service

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


James Cumming, product line manager for virtualized service routers at Nokia, demonstrates how the virtual router based off the Nokia ecosystem changes the network function experience.
LRTV Custom TV
The Keys to SD-WAN Success

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa Networks CEO Kelly Ahuja talks about the key requirements for service provider-managed SD-WANs.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Brazos Hall - Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Time for a Telecom Reboot
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 4/19/2017
Unlicensed: It's What's Next for US Mobile Operators
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/19/2017
First Year TIPs the Scale Toward Success
Denise Culver, 4/24/2017
Pai Picks Up Deregulatory Pace
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 4/20/2017
Verizon's Fiber Spend Won't End With Corning
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.