Light Reading
High-flier returns with some earthly backhaul.

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
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. 
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Level 3 Does Big Data Differently
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/21/2014
IoT Alert: Samsung Snaps Up SmartThings
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/15/2014
Comcast Streams Back to School
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/21/2014
Line-Powered Phone Lines: A Hot Topic Again
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/20/2014
Analyst: Ericsson, Oracle Top Shrinking SDP World
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/19/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed