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Lucent Presents High-Speed Wireless

The Bell Labs unit at Lucent Technologies (www.lucent.com) has been at it again, this time designing an optical networking system that can wirelessly connect at very high speeds.

The WaveStar OpticAir system uses lasers, amplifiers and receivers that can be placed on rooftops or in office windows to transmit voice, data or video traffic through the air. The system uses "dense wave division multiplexing" (DWDM) technology to increase network capacity, more specifically in areas where fibre connections are less practical.

The system transmits up to 10 GB per second, or 65 times more than today's radio frequencies. One way it does this is by transmitting different wavelengths simultaneously, each carrying different streams of information.

Lucent reports potential uses for WaveStar OpticAir are transmitting data between high-rise office buildings, enabling naval ships to share data while in port and establishing high-capacity data links for special events. Lucent is looking to provide enterprise customers with high-speed data networks in campus and business environments.

The first release of WaveStar OpticAir, a 2.5 GB version, will be available in March 2000, with the 10 GB, 5-kilometer version due that summer. -- Brian Ploskina

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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