The New York metro area got itself a new alternative metro connectivity provider today. ZenFi Networks has launched, headed by the former founder and CEO of the NYC metro fiber specialist Lexent Metro Connect, Ray La Chance.
ZenFi is aiming squarely at the needs of wireless operators, taking a different tack from the data center and enterprise focus that we usually see. They'll be combining both metro fiber and fixed wireless for their infrastructure, and are designing the network to be friendly to small cells and DAS. Of all the metro backhaul markets, NYC has to be the toughest when it comes to density requirements.
Wireless backhaul networks are becoming increasingly complex as the demand for mobile data just keeps on growing. There was a time not so very long ago when the cell site backhaul side of the fiber business was uneconomical, but since towers and other sites started supporting LTE gear the equation has changed rapidly.
ZenFi is betting that the networks out there that are supporting today's wireless networks weren't designed from the ground up to do that sort of thing, and therefore there is room for a specialist with lots of local knowledge to do it better. We'll just have to see if they are right.