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Disadvantages of Free Space Optics:•Proper installation is essential, especially foralignment (clear line-of-sight).•Cost is not cheap initially. Price per link could startat $1000-$1500. This is not including cost ofequipment, which could be between $3,000-$10,000 per unit for true duplex.•High powered lasers may not be safe, so trainedpersonnel is a must.•Still perceived as “exotic technology” mostly dueto vendors competing with range andperformance of microwave.
Opex vs. Capex•Capex, or Capital Expenditures, are expenditures that createfuture benefits. Examples include buying machinery, acquiringintellectual property (patents).•Opex, or Operational Expenditures, are expenses incurred whileconducting business (sales, general and administrativeexpenses). Examples include wages, maintenance and repair ofmachinery, utilities & rent.•In today’s networks, it is important to optimize the use of Capexand reduce Opex. Continual focus of Opex reduction encouragesuse of flexible reach wireless products such as that of FSOtechnology.•Because there is no need for a license, no right-of-way issues,high throughput levels can be achieved, better security and nointerference from RF, both Opex and Capex issues are dealt with.
Why I Recommend Free Space Optics:•An FSO link is very secure. FSO optical units can be mountedoutdoors or indoors since lasers can be transmitted throughwindows. The beam can also be encrypted for added security.•FSO links work up to two kilometers (optimal distance being 500meters). With a proper site survey to consider current andpotential future conditions, FSO can suit this organization’sneeds.•Transmission of the beam goes across public property, but thereis no need for an RF spectrum license or right-of-way issues.Signals can be shot across the property/space at any time.•FSO is flexible, scalable, and no security software upgrades arerequired. Also, FSO is immune to RF interference or saturation.
And if it’s good enough for “Big Ben”…This organization just might benefit from it!