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Optical Wireless 

Technology Characteristics 

  • Traditional physics divides electromagnetic waves in three or four different categories - starting with audio at very low end of the frequency range (kilohertz), then radio waves (from MHz to GHz), then visible light and finally infrared. Radio waves extend up to 100 GHz range. After that, you get into visible light and then infrared. As the frquency increases, the width of the wave decreases.
  • Optical wireless is where traditional radio waves end and visible light starts.
  • This is generally in 100 GHz in  frequency range or in millimeter wave length 
  • Optical wireless is in the spectrum range where radio waves end and enter into visible light band 
  • Some vendors are starting in the 60 GHz (www.hxi.com) frequency range; other vendors (www.endwave.com) are experimenting in 94 GHz, 140 GHz and 220 GHz.
  • Could reach theoretical speeds of 100 Gbit/sec in future - practical limit in 2001 was 622 Mbps as quoted by Endwave.
  • Currently, this spectrum band is not licensed - FCC and other regulatory agencies are not sure how to deal with it. In some cases, military might be using it. 
  • Vendors in this space - Harmonix (www.hxi.com), Endwave (www.endwave.com) and www.Optel-communication.com (of Germany)l

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