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SDN fibre/satellite carrier plans to start services in first half of 2021

Tom Homer Telstra.jpg

A company that plans to build a global software-defined fibre and satellite platform is likely to use distance-independent charging, senior management have told Capacity.

First services are likely to begin from Laser Light Communications in the first half of 2021, following a funding announcement that is expected later this year.

“Our ground network will come into service region by region,” said Bob Brumley, the CEO. The global fibre network will then be enhanced by a cluster of 12 middle-Earth orbit (MEO) satellites, which will use laser beams in place of the radio waves that communications satellites have used for 60 years.

Laser Light already has in place “a complete financing [package] that fits the strategic goals of the company”, he added. It will run 42 months, “not 12 months, then back to the capital markets”. Brumley gave an early view of the company to Capacity a few months ago but is now confirming launch details. 

Satellites mean the company can build a high-capacity global network without using more subsea fibre. “The whole thing scales.” Both fibre and satellite links will operate at a standard speed of 100Gbps, he added. “The network infrastructure doesn’t matter.”

Tom Homer (pictured), the former senior Telstra executive who is now Laser Light’s chief customer officer, told Capacity that the customers will be “big telcos, big data-centre operators. We will have a small number of customers – in the tens rather than the hundreds.”

Brumley would not name direct partners, but pointed to a 2016 agreement with Equinix that would provide connections in the Washington DC area and would later expand to cover Japan, Brazil, Australia, the Middle East and Europe.

“We can be a single provider of communications for a data centre company,” said Homer

Laser Light will be able to provide a disaster recovery service, to replace subsea cables in case of underwater earthquakes or other breaks in service. “We can provide a high capacity service to telcos and to enterprises: data transmission as a service. It could be a single rate for anywhere in the world, or a time-based service with different service level agreements.”

Laser Light is building up its team, said Brumley, who has hired Steve Saunders, who left Light Reading, which he founded, in September 2018.

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