Lasering connectivity's last-mile challenges

Lasering connectivity's last-mile challenges
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 28): Malaysia has a connectivity problem, even in urban areas. The government has put in place measures to better the country’s connectivity in both urban and rural settings but despite it all, urbanites are still struggling to get stable internet connections in cities.

There are several reasons why that is so, the most prominent being that fibre optic cables require a lot of approvals and permissions in order to get the right-of-way to install them. It makes sense why this is an issue — digging up the ground to install fibre optic cables under buildings is quite impossible.

Rohit Jha, co-founder and CEO of Transcelestial, a wireless laser communications technology company, has spent the last five years conducting research, development and commercial production of devices that allow fibre optic cables to be connected wirelessly above the ground, thus eliminating about a quarter of the hurdle to provide connectivity to urban and rural folk.

On Jan 27, DigitalEdge broke the story of Transcelestial's partnership with Malaysia’s Glocomp Systems to spearhead a wireless laser communications boost in Malaysia. Through the partnership, they hope to solve pain points faced by mobile operators and enterprises as they explore solutions to 5G’s last-mile connectivity hurdle.

What does this all mean? Jha simply puts it as “fibre optic cables without the cables. Wireless fibre optics (lasers)”. It’s difficult to imagine without knowing what a typical fibre optic cable looks like and how it functions, but it is basically using a laser — just like the red, blue or green laser pointers used during presentations — to carry data.

Transcelestial’s Centauri devices, which are the size of a shoebox, require zero spectrum costs or right-of-way, enabling enterprises and telcos to connect the last mile quickly, flexibly and cost-effectively. Jha boasts that the cost to deploy wireless laser communication is a quarter of the cost to deploy fibre optic cables.

Will this be the beginning of the end of Malaysia’s unstable connectivity? Only time will tell.

Read more about it in The Edge Malaysia weekly’s Feb 28 edition.

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