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November 19, 2015

AOptix: Building the Bridge to 5G

Let’s talk latency. Most people don’t care about a nanosecond here or a half second there but certain industries require both the need for speed and low latency—case in point, financial services. In finance, timing is everything, and can easily mean the difference between making a killing or getting killed in the market.

AOptix is leveraging laser-radio technology, a combination of millimeter wave wireless and free space optics, to transform wireless technology. Vice President of Marketing at AOptix Christina Richards sat down with TMC at the recent Editor’s Day Silicon Valley to talk wireless, lasers and more.

The three primary deployments of laser-radio technology are mobility backhaul, financial services and last mile access. A little background; AOptix was founded by two astronomers who started in biometrics and defense networks, but have spent the last four years developing airborne platforms with communication units capable of tracking infrared. They scaled it down, turned it into an active beam, and once placed at the top of a pole and from alignment to weather factors software handles the heavy lifting and allows for networks to exist where fiber can’t.

Earlier this year, AOptix connected the NASDAQ and BATS with its laser-radio technology to minimize latency and provide a 26 kilometer link with four gig capacity. Richards explained that if one were deploy fiber there are various hoops to jump through and needles to thread, whereas with an AOptix deployment the signal is beamed “as the crow flies.” The solution transmits through air and not glass, which reduces latency, and because of the predictive nature of the AOptix algorithm in place the box at either endpoint is low latency.

A typical deployment, once the mobile platform is installed, takes under 20 minutes and poof, a network is deployed. A trial is set to begin in the next month to as a proof of concept in Hong Kong to off mulit-gigabit broadband in rural areas where fiber is simply not an option.

Richards, named a Woman of Influence 2015 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, exclaimed, “AOptix is the wireless backhaul that will build the bridge to 5G.” While those of us in the media read and write about 5G and a future of wireless AOptix is revolutionizing wireless. Stay tuned, as I know the AOptix team is not resting on its laurels so only time will tell what comes next.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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