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Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024
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High-Tech Qwest beams up lasers by LightPointe



Cellular Phone Ads Shift Focus Since

Recent Attacks

San Diego-based LightPointe says its technology is carrier-class. Now it can prove it. Denver-based telecom carrier Qwest Communications International Inc. announced last month it had started using LightPointe’s laser-beam communications products in its network.

The technology, called free-space optics, does not send light through optical fibers, but sends it through the air, between rooftop transceivers aimed at each other.

Two carrier-class links , the devices needed to send and receive data , cost $50,000. The data travels over them at up to 1.25 gigabits per second. The links work best when placed 500 to 1,000 feet apart.

One drawback to the technology is that bad weather can hamper communication. Qwest wanted reassurance. One published report said the carrier went through a year of trials on the devices. But now the equipment is deployed and at work.

LightPointe reports its technology is now in field trials with a dozen carriers in the United States and abroad.

In other news, LightPointe announced new resellers in Italy, Greece, Austria, Poland and South Africa have joined existing resellers in Great Britain and Germany.

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Ripple Effect:

Watch the ad campaigns in the wireless phone industry, Cahners In-Stat Group advises. Since the country has heard of the ways cell phones provided comfort and communication during the terrorist attacks, the industry may want to remind customers of that potential , albeit in subtle ways.

For example, companies may play up how cell phones are useful in emergencies. Cahners, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., made the prediction in a white paper assessing the wider effects of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The white paper’s unnamed authors also pointed to increased interest in satellite phone services, such as those provided by Globalstar Telecommunications Ltd. Qualcomm Inc. is a partner in Globalstar.

Another source, Canada’s National Post newspaper, observed that wireless companies are spending big on ad campaigns, while other industries have been cutting back.


Titan Goes Wi-Fi:

3Com Corp. is buying baseband transceiver chips from LinCom Wireless, a subsidiary of San Diego’s Titan Corp. The chips operate on the Wi-Fi, or 802.11b, wireless local area network standard.

LinCom reports it has a chip for a slightly different standard , called 802.11a , in development.

Titan also announced Patrick Henry has joined LinCom as CEO. He was formerly vice president and general manager for broadband home media products with LSI Logic Corp. of Milpitas. Henry succeeds former CEO William Lindsey, who will be chairman of the LinCom board.

LinCom is based in Los Angeles.

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Columnar Components:

San Diego-based Quantum Magnetics, Inc. reports it has received U.S. Patent No. 6,628,724 for technology that detects metal items ,including weapons , within metal-framed suitcases. Robert Czajkowski, CEO of US Semiconductor in Kansas City, has replaced Andrew Wrobel as CEO and president of San Diego-based Meltronix, Inc.

Send high-tech news to Graves at bgraves @sdbj.com.

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