Wall Street Going Wireless in Bid for Ultra-Low Latency

There’s growing interest in wireless as a way to get faster connectivity for financial customers conducting low-latency trading, a trend seen in announcements this week from 325 Hudson and Hudson Fiber Networks.

Jason Verge

May 7, 2013

5 Min Read
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Can wireless connectivity provide faster ultra-low latency connectivity for financial traders? (Image copyright David Neale and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence)

There’s growing interest in wireless as a way to get faster connectivity for financial customers conducting low-latency trading, a trend seen in several announcements this week. 325 Hudson announced the addition of a wireless Meet Me Room (MMR) through a partnership with NexxCom. Meanwhile, Hudson Fiber Network has added ultra low-latency wireless infrastructure through ULL Networks.

In the race to zero latency, the technologies are changing and evolving. Wireless technology providers are one avenue that fiber providers and financial customers are looking at closely as they seek ever-faster connectivity for their trading systems. Wireless can offer speed advantages over cabling, as signals can travel faster through air than fiber, and wireless transmission can allow data to move in a straighter path than fiber cabling routes (see Telecom Ramblings for a good explainer on wired vs. wireless).

Data center providers in the New York and New Jersey markets depend on their bread and butter ultra-low latency financial customers. Hudson Fiber Network bills itself as the premier data transport provider, targeting financial, content, carrier, and enterprise clients with flexible networking solutions. 325 Hudson is strategically located on fiber-dense crossroads of Hudson Street and the Holland Tunnel, and is also emphasizing its services for financials.

325 Hudson’s Wireless MMR

325 Hudson, the carrier-neutral core interconnection facility strategically located on the fiber-dense crossroads of Hudson Street and the Holland Tunnel in New York City has partnered with NexxCom Wireless for the first managed wireless Meet Me Room (MMR), which will operate from the 325 Hudson rooftop. Wireless services will be made available on both a private network basis and as a managed service, initially to several key sites in New Jersey.

The design of the wireless MMR is provided by NexxCom, and is able to minimize frequency interference, maximize roof space and optimize customer ease of wireless connections. The building's management says it will provide the lowest latency connections across Manhattan, Northern New Jersey and beyond to support users with financial exchanges, mobile backhaul and disaster recovery connectivity needs.

"NexxCom’s proprietary wireless technology provides the first solution where high capacity, high availability and low latency aren’t mutually exclusive," said Sal Benti, Chairman of NexxCom Wireless. "The wireless Meet Me Room will offer the state of the art in wireless capabilities from technology to planning to provide customers with a tailored solution to suit each user’s specific needs.

"Our clients require data center access solutions that near the speed of light; these requirements have been the driving force behind our creation of these wireless links," said Benti. "As a result, today we can provide point-to-point wireless access between key trading firms and financial data centers at latencies that are superior to traditional optical fiber solutions."

The wireless MMR will enhance connectivity to subsea cables, New Jersey data centers and exchanges and provide access into long haul fiber and wireless networks to Chicago and additional western points. The wireless offering is coupled with access to multiple fiber and core transport providers and acts as a low cost alternative for first or last mile connectivity from the building-wired MMR with 325 Hudson’s interconnection facility.

"Our partnership with NexxCom Wireless to provide the first-of-its-kind, carrier-neutral wireless Meet Me Room in New York City further exemplifies our commitment to provide our customers with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art services," said Hunter Newby, Joint Venture Partner at 325 Hudson Street. "We look forward to bringing the submarine and terrestrial lit transport communities together with the microwave and millimeter wave community at 325 Hudson."

NeXXCom Wireless is a broadband wireless equipment and systems business focused on low latency and ultra broadband networks, and specifically targets firms conducting High Frequency Trading (HFT).

Hudson Fiber Network to distribute ULL Networks

Hudson Fiber Network (HFN) is exclusively distributing ULL Networks’ ultra low latency RF wireless connectivity capabilities within the New York and New Jersey metropolitan areas. Wireless routes will be offered for connections between major New York and New Jersey exchange points, including the Equinix NY1, NY4, NY8 and NY9 facilities, and key financial data centers in Weehawken, Mahwah and Carteret, New Jersey. Nationwide routes to Chicago facilities will also be available.

HFN will offer ultra low-latency RF wireless services at the maximum available bandwidth of 1 Gig with latency reduction ranging from 30 to 60 percent depending on the wireless route. HFN and ULL Networks will partner together to provide additional routes in the future.

"Our clients are some of the most influential players in the financial industry," said Brett Diamond, President of HFN. "By introducing this capability to our extensive lowest-latency fiber routes, we have the versatility to offer the financial community stand-alone fiber and wireless services, as well as hybrid services, based on each customer’s specific needs. Our partnership with ULL furthers our capabilities as the premier provider of low-latency services across the board nationwide, with a specific focus on the New York and New Jersey metropolitan areas."

“HFN was the partner of choice for ULL networks in the New York/New Jersey market," said Ed Kopko, CEO of ULL Networks. "Their lowest-latency fiber routes, now coupled with wireless, are simply the best offerings in market. Our best-of-breed wireless services will help HFN’s financial customer base by giving them seamless access to ultra-low-latency options in the ongoing pursuit of the highest possible performance."

Both of these moves target latency sensitive customers, as well disaster recovery and business continuity operations. As providers look to appeal to financials, they'll continue to  blaze new trails in terms of technology adoption in the hopes of gaining an edge.

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