The world's first commercial laser-based satellite network is underway following a joint venture with Optus Satellite and UK-based company, Laser Light Global
Optus claimed on Tuesday that the venture will combine its satellite facilities and terrestrial fibre networks with laser optics to deliver data transmission rates up to 100 times greater than conventional high-frequency satellite systems.
Due for deployment in 2018, Laser Light's all optical hybrid global network, or 'HALO', uses optical spectrum rather than radio frequency to connect any two points on the globe quickly and cost effectively.
The agreement will enable Optus to offer increased bandwidth for its customers by improving data transmission rates and providing more cost-effective network management.
The HALO satellite constellation will consist of 8 to 12 medium earth orbit satellites that will connect with terrestrial and undersea fibre networks, to provide Laser Light's space-based laser communications product - SpaceCable - to carriers, enterprises, and government departments.
Clifford Beek, Laser Light's president, carrier services, said the aim is to work with world leading telecommunications companies, rather than compete with them, to provide a mutually beneficial integrated communications infrastructure.
"This venture is an important step forward in providing us with complementary terrestrial connectivity across the entirety of Australia," he said.
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"Satellite technology will always have an important role to play in delivering communications to a country the size and breadth of Australia," added Paul Sheridan, vice president of Optus Satellite.
"This is an exciting opportunity to be involved in, and offers a new and innovative solution which will provide complementary services and enable Optus to meet growing demand for high bandwidth dependent applications and services throughout Australia and beyond."