Gig-speed optical-wireless link yields quick ROI

Nov. 18, 2005
November 18, 2005 - A Washington D.C. consulting firm recouped its costs by saving seven months' worth of gig-speed links from a service provider.

LightPointe (, a designer and manufacturer of outdoor wireless products, announced that Development Alternatives Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based firm that provides social and economic development solutions to governments, communities, and corporations, extended its corporate network using the company's FlightStrata Gigabit Ethernet optical wireless bridge for building-to-building connectivity.

Faced with recurring fiber-optic cable leasing to connect its headquarters to a satellite facility for 70 employees, DAI selected the FlightStrata optical wireless bridge that provides 1.25 Gbits/sec of full-duplex throughput. The recent upgrade resulted in a seven-month return on investment when compared to a proposed $8,000-per-month fiber lease through a local telecommunications service provider. Before selecting the LightPointe optical wireless solution, DAI had been leasing a 45-Mbit/sec DS3/T3 connection.

"This was one of the fastest and most straightforward network expansions we've completed to date," says Sanjin Sahadzic, network planning manager for DAI. "The LightPointe link performed exactly as described and we were able to provide secure, high-speed access to the company's LAN as though everyone was located in the same building."

DAI employs 2,000 consultants in 75 countries, and has operating companies in Brazil, Palestine, and the United Kingdom. Clients include the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, bilateral development agencies, global corporations, and host-country governments. DAI equips its global workforce with leading-edge, highly reliable technology, as well as secure access to a virtual private network for connecting to corporate e-mail, international databases, financial research, and project management systems.

For its corporate connectivity challenge, DAI sought the assistance of TelData Communications, a provider of voice and data communications solutions based in Gaithersburg, MD, and a long-time LightPointe channel partner. According to Charlie Harter, business development manager for TelData, DAI was impressed with the variety of organizations with highly secure and reliable LightPointe deployments, including the Department of Homeland Security, Smithsonian Institution, and assorted corporate clients. "After a completely thorough review of different options, DAI realized that optical wireless delivered the highest networking capacity while meeting their stringent security and reliability requirements," he says.

DAI's LightPionte link yielded fasterROI than any other technologies, LightPointe says. Not only did it eliminate the need to upgrade a network server room at the second site, it produced a seven-month ROI when compared to leasing a Gigabit Ethernet line from a local service provider. "Optical wireless is an ideal connectivity solution that enables enterprises to avoid the constraints of multi-year leased-line contracts as well as total reliance on local-loop providers to ensure network uptime," says Bob Preston, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for LightPointe.

DAI plans to leverage its investment in LightPointe's outdoor wireless technology by exploring other options, including possibly providing a secondary, alternate path to an offsite backup location for disaster-recovery purposes.

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