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London Stock Exchange launches millimetre wave network to reduce trading latency

Matthew Finnegan | Oct. 11, 2013
Offers bandwidth improvement over microwave technology

The London Stock Exchange has set up a wireless communications link between two of the UK's most vital trading data centres using 'cutting-edge' millimetre wave technology.

The LSE is to connect its own City of London datacentre and the Equinix data centre campus in Slough using the millimetre wave system in order to reduce latency between the two locations.

The millimetre wave technology operates at very high frequencies of between 30 to 300 gigahertz, and is considered as an alternative to microwaves networks, which have gained in popularity among exhanges recently. Millimetre wave technology offers a number of advantages such as access to higher bandwidth capacities, with millimetre waves enabling up to 1 Gbps per channel, compared with microwave networks, which operate at around 150 Mbps. It will also reduce latency by a third compared with many fibre optic links.

However there are considered to be disadvantages with the technology, such as increased susceptibilty to interference caused by adverse weather conditions, particularly rain.

The wireless service is aimed at meeting customer demand for low latency links across the significant route, with Equinix housing many major financial sector clients including trading houses such as Nasdaq OMX's NLX exchange.

Nigel Harold, head of IT business development at the LSE, commented: "This initiative underlines London Stock Exchange's commitment to developing innovative products based on new technologies, enhancing opportunities for customers seeking low latency data and trading solutions.

"Through the use of millimetre technology, a wireless communications link will allow participants to more efficiently manage activity across multiple venues. This service highlights how our markets and products are constantly moving forward, developing and evolving with advancing technology."

The service, being implemented alongside telecoms specialist NeXXCom Wireless, is planned for launch in November 2013.

 

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