Qwest Moves Into Fiber-to-the-Tower

September 16th, 2009 by · 2 Comments

On Tuesday q announced the launch of its fiber-based, Mobile Ethernet Backhaul service designed for wireless providers.  The new offering will leverage the company’s existing fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) infrastructure to bring nearby towers online as well.  Only wide use of fiber can provide the massive, scalable bandwidth that will be needed for the wireless networks to come.  I have wondered when they would start offering such services, it seems like a no-brainer.

Unlike its larger brethren, Qwest of course does not run a wireless network, and therefore actually is an independent source of backhaul for competing wireless providers.  And in the same vein, this offering is its only high margin exposure to the wireless business.  On the other hand, one might argue that with the rise of the iPhone and the voracious data appetite of its users the consumer wireless business may lose some of its luster over the next few years and the less glamorous backhaul business may begin to really take off.  

However, because of the more rural topography of its home territory, Qwest’s FTTN infrastructure is still somewhat limited in scope and so will the availability of this fiber-based backhaul.  Perhaps the added weight of a growing ethernet backhaul business will improve the business case for a wider deployment.

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Categories: ILECs, PTTs · Wireless

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2 Comments So Far

  • Mike Nelson says:

    Qwest is gasping for any relevance in the telecommunications sphere. Their FTTN effort is woefully underfunded and moving so, so slowly. Fiber to the tower is just a stroke of genius – quick someone lets do a press release. Someone at Qwest attended a fiber to the tower seminar at the wireless convention in Chicago last week. Seriously a press release?

  • Parkite says:

    @Mike – I was thinking the same thing when I read this. Qwest is slow, slow, slow to react. They move in dog years. And the fact they don’t even have a wireless arm contributes to the fact that they have been slow to recognize the FTTN oppty. They are holding on for dear life as their wireline revenue continues to disappear.

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