The southeastern metro fiber specialist FiberLight is implementing a wireless backhaul network featuring gear from Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN, news, filings), according to an announcement by the network equipment vendor this morning. We haven't heard much from FiberLight much recently, although I know they have been steadily laying fiber in West Texas.
The wireless backhaul solution in this case will serve the needs of two major U.S. wireless operators. It will bring fiber to about 450 towers, and initially provide 100Mb/s for each with 1Gbps available for future growth.
West Texas is indeed one of the geographies. When it was announced, this expansion included 3,000 route miles of fiber through San Angelo, Odessa, Midland, Abilene, Lubbock and Amarillo connecting 275 wireless towers and 100 additional buildings. Since this is AT&T's turf and probably not yet on Sprint's immediate plate, I'm guessing we're talking about Verizon Wireless's LTE buildout here.
The other geography will see Ethernet connectivity built out to 200 cell towers across Texas, Washington DC, Maryland, and Florida for a different carrier. Once again, we heard a bit of this earlier this year, with a 40 tower buildout in the Tampa area announced back in March. Since FiberLight's assets there are an ideal starting point in a half dozen tier 1 and 2 markets and it has probably been in the works since before T-MobileUSA made up its mine, it's probably Sprint's LTE buildout driving this part.
Ciena will be supplying its 5410 and 5150 Service Aggregation Switches and its 3930, 3931 and 3960 Service Delivery Switches, with subtending G.8032 Ethernet rings to hook it all together.