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Tuesday, 11 December 2012 10:11

Microwaves are back

Written by Nick Farrell



Still faster than fibre optics

Old microwave technology which has been around for longer than me, is being drafted back into use in the world of high-frequency trading.

The decades-old microwave technologies is still a few milli-seconds faster than fibre optics and that difference can mean big bucks for traders. Now according to IT World the once-stagnant industry of microwave communications is finding itself in an "arms race" among vendors of new competitive offerings.

Mike Persico, CEO of financial exchange service provider Anova Technologies said that you have to go through the air if you want to send a little bit of data very fast. Stéphane Ty , co-founder of Quincy Data said that for financial services firms, getting some piece of competitive intelligence a few milliseconds faster than their competitors can be worth the cost of securing a faster link.

Point-to-point wireless microwave transmissions, which operate in the 1.0GHz to 30GHz part of the spectrum, require line of site, though signals can be repeated along the route. Fibre-optics can offer greater bandwidth but microwave has speed of transmission. Electromagnetic waves travel faster through air than through glass. Microwave paths tend to be shorter, because signals can be beamed across the most direct path between two points.

Nick Farrell

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