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 Monday, 20 February 2006

ITU-T will publish the first ITU-T Recommendation in the area of free-space optics. FSO is an area dominated by proprietary solutions, the new Rec means that users of FSO systems will be able to co-locate FSO solutions provided by different manufacturers for the first time.

FSO systems use lasers or LEDs to transmit data between two points with line of sight up to 2km. Typically this means between the top of buildings. Data rates of up to 1.25 Gbps are available.

As well as use in fixed settings like between tall office buildings. FSO systems have proven useful in disaster relief where telecoms infrastructure has been damaged and a quick fix is necessary. Equally FSO systems are used where there is no existing infrastructure as a way of avoiding disruptive and expensive cable laying. They are spectrum license free and protocol independent so will happily carry Ethernet, SDH signals etc.

The ITU-T Rec. G.640 will allow the co-location of FSO systems without interference with each other.