An Indian telecommunications firm has turned to lasers to help it overcome the problems of setting up voice and data networks in the country. In 12 months the lasers have helped the firm set up networks in more than 700 locations.

Tata Teleservices is using the lasers to make the link between customers’ offices and its own core network.

The laser bridges work across distances up to 4km and can be set up much faster than cable connections.

“In this particular geography getting permission to dig the ground and lay the pipes is a bit of a task,” said Mr R. Sridharan, vice president of networks at Tata.

“Heavy traffic and the layout under the ground mean that digging is uniquely difficult,” he said.

In some locations, he said, permission to dig up roads and lay cables was impossible to get.

He said it was far easier to secure permission for putting networking hardware on roofs.

This has led Chennai-based Tata to turn to equipment that uses lasers to make the final mile leap between Tata’s core network and the premises of customers.

The Lightpointe laser bridges work over distances of up to 4km and are being used to route both voice and data from businesses on to the backbone of the network.

The hardware works in pairs and beam data through the air in the form of laser pulses.

More here.