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London Stock Exchange Taps NeXXCom for Low-Latency Equinix Wireless Service

The London Stock Exchange today announced a millimetre-wave wireless service providing low-latency connectivity between its City of London data centre and Equinix’s LD4 data centre in Slough, which is host to many markets and trading firms. The service is being introduced in collaboration with NeXXCom Wireless and is likely to deliver a sub 300 microsecond roundtrip when it goes live in November.

The wireless service – which should be 30% to 40% faster than fibre connectivity – will be the only one available from the exchange’s co-lo centre in the city of London, says Nigel Harold, head of business development for IT at the LSE. With limited roof space available, it was decided not to open it to individual trading firms to operate their own wireless networks, but instead to offer a shared service.

At the outset, there will be 1Gb of capacity on the link, which the exchange will sell in 100Mb channels – pricing is not being disclosed – for member firms to use as required, for data or transactional services. The exchange will leverate FPGA-based technology to allocate and police the bandwidth usage.

Upgrading the capacity of the link in the future is a possibility, says Jay Lawrence, CEO of NeXXCom, which is providing the wireless equipment, as well as providing design and operational services. Founded in 2011 in San Diego, NeXXCom operates a number of wireless networks in the U.S. Millimetre-wave technology offers higher capacity than microwave, but has a lower broadcast range, requiring more repeater hops.

With a total path length of 24 miles, the network deviates just 3% from the line of sight distance between the LSE and Equinix. With eight repeaters along the route, Lawrence suggests the network has been “over engineered” to ensure reliability, and a 99.9% uptime is expected.

LD4 is home to a large number of trading markets, including the Bats Chi-X Europe equities venue, and so the wireless service is likely to find favour for arbitrage strategies. Noting that the LSE data centre is equidistant between LD4 and NYSE Euronext’s Basildon data centre – where the NYSE Liffe derivatives market is based – Harold says a LSE/NYSE link to support cash/futures strategies is a possibility, bus stresses that future plans will be customer driven. 

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