The winds of change continue blowing for the global wireline telecom industry: An International Telecommunications Union (ITU) report sees continued capital expenditures for fiber infrastructure, reaching $144.2 billion between 2014 and 2019, as next-generation technologies and particularly 5G make demands on the wireline network.
Zayo Group is getting increased attention from investment analysts thanks to its ongoing buildout of fiber to the tower and dark fiber, which positions it to benefit from pending deployments of 5G by major operators like AT&T and Verizon.
Zayo has expanded its fiber-to-the-tower footprint in San Antonio to serve one of its anchor wireless service provider customers, furthering its presence in the growing dark fiber to the tower segment.
Southern Telecom is on the network expansion trail again, announcing an agreement with Georgia Transmission Corp. to build a 75-mile dark fiber route between Winder and Hartwell, Ga.
Consolidated Communications is maintaining its focus on broadband and business services as well as its expansion of metro Ethernet services and new fiber to the tower (FTTT) sites. But revenue increases from these initiatives during the company's fourth quarter may have been dragged down somewhat by continuing declines in voice services and network access revenues as well as subsidies.
Sprint recently said during its fourth quarter earnings call that it would be using a mix of 2.5 GHz spectrum and dark fiber for small backhaul-- a move that could potentially benefit various competitive wireline carriers who have aggressively built out fiber networks in anticipation of the emerging small cell backhaul trend.
Zayo continues to see new opportunities in its fiber-to-the-tower business, announcing that as of the end of June it sold services to over 800 macro tower and small cell sites that leverage previous anchor FTTT network builds already in place.
Time Warner Cable is highlighting its growing portfolio of backhaul services, noting in a blog post that the company has nearly 20,000 cell towers wired for cellular backhaul service. That figure is important because it shows how important wholesale services have become to cable MSOs, particularly as residential video subscriber numbers are dropping.
As CenturyLink looks to build its revenue back into profitability, R. Stewart Ewing, the carrier's executive vice president and chief financial officer, said that he sees three opportunities to add $140 million to $150 million to its profit in the second half of 2015.
CenturyLink may finally be seeing light at the end of the legacy to next-gen Ethernet-based fiber to the tower (FTTT) revenue migration.