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Lasers, LTE, and mission-critical comms, oh my!

October 23, 2014

Today was a good day of field tests in our tactical deployed PSBN project! Today we integrated laser communications, properly known as Free Space Optical (FSO) comms, into our LTE network. Why lasers? Because future PSBN networking will all be about backhaul comms – the hard bit about LTE is moving all that data back to the core network and on to the rest of the world. Lasers provide one way to get a lot of data, fast (in this case 1 Gigabit per second) across an area, with no interference, and lots of security. We can effectively deploy a fibre-optic cable through the air, very quickly. We are trying to understand when FSO is a better option than fibre-optics, copper-based networking, or radio-frequency (RF)-based networking.