Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Free Space Optical Communication (FSO): Enabling Connectivity in rural/remote areas in India

Free space optic (FSO) communication is a line of sight technology that currently enables optical transmission up to 3 Gbps of data communications through the air, allowing optical connectivity without deploying fiber-optic cable or securing spectrum licenses. Such propagation of optical capacity through air requires light, which can be focused, by using light sources either light emitting diodes (LEDS) or LASERS (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation).
FSO technology is relatively simple. It is based on connectivity between FSO units, each consisting of an optical transmitter & receiver to provide full duplex (bi-directional) capability. FSO technology requires no Spectrum licensing.
As the requirement for high speed connectivity increases, service providers are looking for reasonably priced, high bandwidth alternative to deliver service in shortest possible time. FSO offers service providers a tool to generate revenue and provide enhanced services at a reasonable cost. FSO offers the following benefits;-
  • Quick customer acquisition:
FSO products are quickly and easily installed. This allows service providers to acquire target customers very quickly in comparison to fiber installs.
  • Increase network footprint:
FSO can be used to bring multiple off net buildings on net, thus increasing the reach of service providers at a fraction of the time and a reasonable cost.
·         Access to new markets:
FSO products allow service providers to acquire target customers very quickly in comparison to fiber installs.
·         Increase profit level on existing capital:
FSO allows service providers to extend their existing networks (fiber or LMDS) without the need for additional training, equipment, or licensing costs.
·         Leverage existing capital budgets:
FSO products allow service providers to gain significant leverage in their capital by lowering the cost of "wiring" buildings with high bandwidth access. This provides them an acceptable return on their capital investment on a lower rate of monthly telecommunications revenue.
·         Eliminate stranded capital:
The ease of installation and flexible reuse or redeployment of FSO products eliminates the risk stranded capital for fiber access to a particular building. When a customer vacates a building, the same FSO equipments can be moved and deployed to provide service to a customer in another location, offering minimum expenditure to service provider.
FSO Applications:
FSO has several applications are as follows
·        Metro network extension:
FSO can be deployed to extend an existing network or to connect new networks. The flexibility of FSO allows it to be implemented in many applications, such as LAN-to-LAN connectivity, Storage Area Networks and intra-campus connections.
·         Last-mile connectivity
These are the links that reach the end user. They can be deployed in point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, ring or mesh connections.
·         Fiber complement:
FSO may also be deployed as a redundant link to back up fiber.  Most operators deploying fiber for business applications connect two fibers to secure a reliable service plus back up. Operators could opt to deploy an FSO system as the redundant link.
·         Disaster management
FSO can be used effectively deployed for disaster management. In the event of any fiber break, FSO can be used to quickly restore the network.


By
Mr. AJAY SHARMA
Asso. Prof.

Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering

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