SONAbeam™ from fSONA, Pacific Wireless Communications, Industry Canada’s Communications Research Centre and University of Hawaii Enable Broadband Playground

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Participants From Four Countries Demo Advanced Broadband Applications at Pacific Telecommunications Conference in Hawaii

Vancouver, Canada – January 7, 2005 - Pacific Wireless Communications and fSONA Systems today announced their participation in the Broadband Playground at PTC’05, Pacific Telecommunications Council’s prestigious annual event in Honolulu, Hawaii January 17-19th, which will be held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa.

The Broadband Playground will demonstrate advanced network technology that enables live, leading-edge broadband applications for global collaboration, education and entertainment. This showcase of network-enabled applications, coordinated by the Communications Research Centre of Industry Canada, will bring together participants at international research and education institutions from four different countries – Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States.

The Broadband Playground is reliant upon connectivity to the University of Hawaii GigaPop which has direct connections into major advanced networks including Internet2 (U.S.), AARNet (Australia) and international networks such as APAN (Asia Pacific Area Network) as well as peering relationships with other networks such as CA*net 4 (Canada), SURFNet (The Netherlands) and others. While this international network provides the long-haul connections between educational facilities around the globe, it did not extend to the PTC’05 Exhibit Hall at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Enabling the applications on display at the Broadband Playground requires high capacity, reliable and dedicated bandwidth throughout the three-day event. Deploying dedicated fiber for an event of such short duration would be cost prohibitive. Pacific Wireless Communications (PWC) suggested optical wireless technology from fSONA for the line of sight path between the University of Hawaii’s Manoa campus and the Hilton Hawaiian Village. “Optical Wireless is like “virtual” dark fiber that matches the throughput performance and latency characteristics of Fiber Optics”, says Jim Conroy, Director of Marketing, Pacific Wireless Communications. “The Broadband Playground is an ideal application to highlight the benefits of this advanced technology.”

Unlike other forms of wireless, optical wireless does not suffer from interference or licensing issues that can stall deployments. PWC used their expertise in deploying wireless systems to get the 2.6-mile link up and running quickly and economically.

One of the significant and challenging applications that will be supported on the link will be multiple streams of bi-directional HDTV. The SONAbeam™ 1250-M deployed in Hawaii is an ideal choice as it supports standard video protocols, including the uncompressed HDTV (SMPTE 292M) @ 1.085 Gbps and SDI (SMPTE 259M) @ 270Mbps. The SONAbeam™ link will also support Internet traffic for the entire Pacific Telecommunications Conference Broadband Playground by “beaming” over existing gigabit Ethernet services from the University of Hawaii to the Hilton Hotel conference center via 640 mW of certified eye-safe 1550 nm lasers.

About Communications Research Centre Canada
The Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC), an agency of Industry Canada, is Canada’s leading laboratory specializing in research and development (R&D) in advanced communications technologies and applications development. CRC has researchers and facilities dedicated to R&D on the technologies that form the basis of new and emerging telecommunications systems across Canada: terrestrial wireless, satellite communications, broadcast technology and broadband network technologies. The emphasis is to develop and demonstrate how these technologies can work together to form cost effective and reliable telecommunications networks that can serve all Canadians, especially the remote and underserved.

About Pacific Telecommunications Council
PTC is an international, non-profit, non-governmental, membership organization in Honolulu, founded in 1980. Its mission is to promote the development of telecommunications and related industries in the Asia-Pacific region. PTC’s annual conference each January in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA is a premier telecommunication and information technology event for the Asia-Pacific region. More information on PTC is available at

About Pacific Wireless Communications:
Pacific Wireless Communications is the premiere wireless systems integrator in the State of Hawaii. Previously known as Motorola Hawaii, Pacific Wireless Communications (PWC) focuses on providing best in class service and sales to Hawaii's government and commercial customers. PWC has 100 employees consisting of Project managers, Radio System Engineers, Factory trained technicians, Information Technology Network Engineers, fSONA Certified Engineers, and Customer Service Support Technicians.

About fSONA
fSONA Systems is recognized as the preferred provider of optical wireless solutions for government, enterprise and service provider markets around the globe. Leveraging leading edge advancements in 1550nm optical transmission, the SONAbeam™ family of systems, based on free-space-optics (FSO), use a globally unlicensed, wireless technology to provide speeds up to 2.5 Gbps over distances up to 7km. For more information visit or

Further Information
For more information about fSONA, SONAbeam or Free-Space Optical Wireless, please contact:


fSONA and SONAbeam® are trademarks of fSONA Networks. All other trademarks are properties of their respective companies.