Sprint may triple backhaul assets

Sprint's Xohm WiMAX service promises to deliver a lot of capacity for a variety of applications. But that capacity isn't much good to users if the back end network can't handle all the traffic. That's why Sprint is busy overhauling its backhaul network in preparation for the extra traffic generated by Xohm. 

At yesterday's Sprint Technology Summit, Sprint Chief Network Officer Kathy Walker said that currently more than 95 percent of the company's backhaul traffic is handled by the local exchange carrier and about 5 percent is handled by alternative sources. But with WiMAX, she expects the higher bandwidth requirements will force the company to look at alternative backhaul options including microwave, cable and fiber. "We could triple the number of assets in our backhaul equation," Walker said.

Walker also said that the company is forging relationships with alternative backhaul providers. She cited the firm's recent deal with FiberTower, as one example of its strategy. Sprint inked a deal with FiberTower earlier this month to provide backhaul for seven of its WiMAX markets.

FiberTower President and CEO Michael Gallagher will be one of the many executives speaking at FierceMarkets backhaul event in Dallas on Oct. 2. The event, "Beyond T1: Evaluating Backhaul Options" will also feature Cellular South's Tony Kent and Michael Lanza of Nextlink Wireless. Check out the agenda here.

For more on backhaul:
- FiberTower inks backhaul deal for Sprint's WiMAX Article
- Rethinking backhaul Editorial
- DragonWave debuts backhaul solution Article