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FSO or RF?

Free-Space Optics
Frequency Division Multiplexed RF


A little over a decade ago when we decided to specialize in true, full duplex ultra highspeed point-to-point technologies, FSO was just about the only act in town. The alternatives were limited to lease line, buried fiber, licensed microwave, or else just settling for a low end 802.11b (2.4GHz) “consumer grade” low speed link.

It made the choice pretty straight forward. When timing, budget, and true performance requirements were assessed; one of the above popped up to the top of the list pretty quickly.

Jump up to the present: the alternatives now include a vast array of options. And selecting an optimal technology, reliable manufacturer, experienced integrator, plus a source for support tomorrow can be daunting.

In a nutshell, here is a brief “high-altitude” technology comparison that may be helpful:





802.11 Type RF Time Division Multiplexed RF Low cost / long distance Lower throughputs (<100 Mbps, latency, major interference issues
802.3 Type RF Frequency Division Multiplexed RF True 1.0 GigE full duplex Higher cost, shorter distance
Free-Space Optics Fiber optics without the fiber True 1.0 GigE full duplex, low cost Shorter distance


So, which should you select? It really gets down to how you will use the link, which likely drives your priorities:

-Security policy
-Availability requirement (9’s)

And in addition to the above, your particular physical environment (geographic location, mounting, link distance) also impact both optimal technology selection, as well as make/model alternatives.

Wouldn’t a model-neutral, field experienced recommendation come in handy?

That’s why BluTec Systems is here.  To serve you when you need us.

Get a QuickQuote now.