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University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)

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The Challenge:

Queen Mary Hospital, located 1.2 kilometers from HKU, is the teaching base for FOM, with a role that combines education, medical treatment and research. The 1,400-bed hospital provides comprehensive medical services to the region, employing a staff of approximately 3,800. The mission of Queen Mary Hospital is to deliver quality professional services to patients, integrating medical technologies acquired through collaboration with government, FOM and the hospital's own resources. To that end, FOM began an initiative to leverage digital imaging for teaching purposes, with hopes of transmitting large graphics files of select surgeries from the hospital to the university for professors to use during lectures and other intensive training. In addition, it sought to produce live video broadcasts of surgeries for transmission in real time from Queen Mary Hospital to FOM's teaching facilities.

These high-bandwidth exchanges required adherence to the strictest requirements for quality, in terms of definition and balance, so that students could easily recognize the most intricate of details, including human organs and veins. To achieve such high resolution, videos needed to be coded with MPEG2. Although it provides excellent digital quality, MPEG2 only offers a limited compression ratio and therefore requires bandwidth greater than 10 Mbps.

Consequently, the university was challenged to find a high-speed connectivity solution capable of supporting these bandwidth-intensive requirements for sending video and data files between facilities. FOM's IT team evaluated a variety of options including microwave radio, an existing campus Ethernet network, fiber-optic cable and ultimately,
optical wireless.

LightPointe Solution:

HKU ultimately selected the LightPointe FlightStrataT 155E, a high-performance Optical Wireless system with full-duplex throughput of up to 1.55 Mbps. As LightPointe's flagship product, FlightStrata not only delivers maximum performance, but also offers Multi-Beam Array Tracking (MBAT), Automatic Power Control (APC) and Optical Beam Shaping (OBS). These advanced features ensure system redundancy via multiple send-and-receive paths, provide additional power during reduced weather visibility and allow continuous adjustment to address any movement from building sway. Ideally suited for major enterprises and telecommunication carriers seeking fiber-like connectivity, FlightStrata incorporates four beams and four receivers, plus auto-tracking capabilities, to deliver improved performance over two dozen city blocks.

Sound Byte:

"There are many advantages to our LightPointe solution," he said. "It was easy to install, the cost was low and we are confident in the stability of the equipment, since it has been widely used in the telecommunication field and by many international companies. In addition, the surplus bandwidth can be used for other applications."
— Qu Dong Cheng, Information Technology Chief, FOM