Optical satellite service provider Laser Light Communications became the most recent member of the New IP Agency this week.
The company is building an optical satellite system, currently in the development stage, which will use 12 Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites coupled with fiber cables to deliver links of more than 200 Gbps without relying on radio frequency spectrum. Software-defined networking (SDN) sits in the middle. Laser Light expects to complete deployment of all 12 satellites and its global SDN network by 2018, says Bob Brumley, senior managing director, in an interview.
"SDN is really the glue that holds these two systems, normally competing, together," he says. "We can operate the network without long-term contracts or SLAs because of software-defined networking."
Unlike traditional satellites which often succumb to bad weather to create buffering and other problems, Laser Light uses artificial intelligence within its patented network operating system to proactively avoid poor weather and reroute traffic to cables and ground nodes in clear regions of the globe, says Brumley.
"The weather actually manages the network. We collect huge amounts of weather data off the ground nodes in order to run the network," he says. "It's actually the weather that's running the network, not a person."
Laser Light wants to disrupt the telecommunications industry – but the service provider does not want to break new ground when it comes to standards, Brumley says. The company partnered with the New IP Agency in part because of its work applying known standards within real-world test environments to see if available standards are of any value; its roster of service provider and developer members, and its leadership role in SDN and virtualization, he says.
"We see a convergence in operating platforms that are being facilitated primarily by software-defined networks. We are such a company and we want to be among other companies like us. We want to be recognized when we enter the market as a leader in SDN and converged networks," says Brumley. "We worry more about standards than competition. Once we put satellites up we can't easily go and fix them. SDN allows us to make upgrades on the ground, but we joined NIA because it's the only organization that's not only looking at standards with vendors, but also with service providers."
Alison Diana, Ambassador, The New IP Agency
Follow her on Twitter @alisoncdiana or @NewIPAgency.