Hey, good, they're about a year behind Verizon and Sprint
Verizon touts backhaul support
By Monica Alleven, Wireless Week
CedMagazine.com - March 27, 2009
Verizon Wireless has taken steps to make sure its network is backhaul-ready for Long Term Evolution (LTE), and it’s using Ethernet-based fiber optic technology through Verizon Partner Solutions to get the job done.
The U.S. wholesale division says the fiber links are available to other wireless carriers, as well.
Verizon’s fiber-optic Ethernet backhaul capabilities are a key part of Verizon Wireless’ overall 4G/LTE rollout, the company says Click here!. Getting adequate backhaul in place was one of the challenges Sprint Nextel faced when it was preparing for its Xohm WiMAX service launch.
Verizon says fiber doesn’t suffer the same impact of weather or electromagnetic interference that can plague microwave and copper-based links. Thousands of Verizon Wireless’ cell sites and mobile switching offices across the country are among the first being networked using the fiber optic technology.
Of course, Verizon Partner Solutions doesn’t mind if a carrier is using LTE or WiMAX – all comers are welcome. “In an increasingly wireless-dependent society, cellular carriers like Verizon Wireless are engineering their networks to meet both the exploding voice and data traffic demands of today and the capacity requirements that next-generation wireless technologies like LTE and WiMAX will place on their facilities,” said Quintin Lew, senior vice president of marketing for Verizon Partner Solutions.
Verizon’s fiber backhaul solutions include a Switched Ethernet Service, an all-Ethernet option and an Ethernet over synchronous optical network (SONET) choice. In each case, data from the cell site is converted to packetized data for transport to mobile phone switching offices for distribution over the networks.
For mobile, the backhaul network is the tower-to-backbone/core link. It's a mix of terrestrial and more and more wireless. The more visionary providers are probably going to pure wireless, which should help with the CapEx-OpEx stuff that comes into play hard with these guys.
This stuff is basically a cash flow business. CapEx is investment in the business, adds shareholder value, but the assets are basically worthless since they're in the ground and depreciate rapidly. You don't do telcos for their assets - You do them for the cash flow from good assets, but that plummets as their assets depreciate, falling bandwidth prices, etc.
OpEx is your operating expenses ( including R&D, if you have half a brain ) - Deducting that from revenue you're left with operating profit, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
Then from operating profit comes your CapEx, but also stuff like taxes, interest on service debt, etc, then finally what's left over after all that goes into the bank and/or shareholders.
So, it's pretty ugly if ATT is a year behind everybody else ( and everybody else has been building out their backhaul a while ).
Oh yeah, what that quote/article doesn't mention is that Verizon has been going fiber optic for all new backhaul and local fixed-voice and digital ( data and entertainment ) subnetworks/last mile stuff since 2000 and phasing in retro work on the pre-exisiting backhaul and local fixed subnetworks - So they really didn't have that much to do for mobile. I'd suspect it was the same for Sprint-Nextel. I had fiber optic in 2001.
ATT could choke on a pure IP network ( and really, none of these guys got right away that applications and devices' convergence drive this stuff, but some have been smarter than others ), and have to throttle, tier, disable whatever, etc, etc, whatever they can to keep from getting overwhelmed. They might not keep up with the devices' convergence ( multi-mode/everything handsets, laptops and pads, whatever ) and applications. That's just pure unfounded speculation, but I guess anything's possible