Backhaul is front and center for small operators

editor's corner

Small mobile operators have a lot of issues to deal with as they strive to compete in the wireless broadband arena against the likes of industry giants such as AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ).

A business student might divide the varied issues into the four Ps: product (devices, services, interoperability); place (footprint, roaming); promotion (marketing, branding); and price (that one is pretty self-explanatory). But, a huge issue that impacts all of those categories is backhaul. After all, the whole idea of a telecommunications network is connectivity. What do you do as a mobile operator if there's nothing to connect to?

In the case of small operators, they lease fiber when they can from larger competitors with wireline networks, cable companies, CLECs and other fiber providers, or they turn to technologies such as microwave and satellite. But according to Steven Berry, president and CEO of the Competitive Carriers Association, his carrier members are finding their backhaul choices dwindling for a number of reasons.

Berry recently discussed some of his concerns and also talked about the CCA's new LTE roaming hub in an exclusive On the Hot Seat interview, which you can check out here.

And be sure to vote in the poll on our home page: What do you think is the single biggest challenge for small mobile operators?--Tammy

P.S. FierceBroadbandWireless will be taking a slight breather for Memorial Day. We will not publish on Monday but will be back in your inbox on Tuesday, May 28. Have a safe and fun holiday weekend.