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.