Qwest markets fiber backhaul to operators

Qwest is introducing a major program to offer high-capacity Ethernet to mobile operators in its service area using its residential fiber-to-the-node network.

Mobile operators need high-capacity links to backhaul data traffic in both the 3G and 4G worlds. Using the fiber nodes it built for residential broadband service throughout its territory, Qwest is offering to extend those fiber connections to cell sites.

Qwest said it doesn't simply want to offer a connection to operators, but rather be their backhaul partner and work closely with them to make sure their current 3G networks and future 4G networks have the necessary backhaul infrastructure in place.

Fiber is the backhaul method of choice but is hard to come by. Clearwire recently indicated in an interview with Telephony that it was only able to secure fiber connections to 10 percent of the cell sites in its 25-market deployment. Operators like Verizon and AT&T are working with their parent companies to secure fiber.

Qwest doesn't have a wireless business and said it will offer both shared metro Ethernet connections as well as direct fiber links as part of the program.

For more:
- see Telephony

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