In my role within ECI’s Americas region, I get to speak with a lot of operators. Something that’s become very clear to me is this: there’s an especially positive environment for wholesale wireless backhaul in North America.
This opportunity exists in large part due to a gap in wireless carriers’ existing infrastructure. You see, the copper T1 infrastructure isn’t sufficient to handle the bandwidth demands of 3G, let alone LTE. And getting Ethernet to cell sites via fiber is happening too slowly. That’s where the cable/MSOs come in. The cable operators, with fiber networks already in place, are in a great position to provide wholesale backhaul services. But why would a wireless carrier lease from a cable company rather than a telco? For good reason – they’d rather write checks to cable operators than to their (competing) local exchange carriers. The wireless-cable relationship makes a lot of sense for other reasons, too. Wholesaling backhaul opens up new revenue streams for cable operators. They stand to make several thousand dollars per month from each tower when factor in the typically multiple mobile operators per tower. And from a technology standpoint, it’s a good match as well. The MSO IT techs are quite comfortable adding Ethernet backhaul to the mix because their network environment is already very data oriented.
Last month, we launched a wireless backhaul solution that can help cable operators tap into the significant opportunity that lies ahead for backhaul over high-capacity packet networks. With ECI’s 1Net wireless backhaul, operators can use a single infrastructure to offer wireline services for both residential and business customers with the required capacity and performance. Interest from cable operators in the U.S. has been high, with some of the top cablecos here looking into our solution. If you’d like to find out more about 1Net wireless backhaul, I encourage you to visit here
on our web. There’s a helpful backgrounder there, plus some great multimedia resources. You can also contact me directly at Rafael.Francis@ecitele.com
AVP of Technology & Marketing, Americas