Out of the remaining three largest U.S. tier 2 telcos, the somewhat new CenturyLink appears to be the most vocal about wireless backhaul. CenturyLink, while owning 700 MHz spectrum, has itself not made a big push yet into providing mobile services, but it's more than happy to provide its services to other wireless operators in need of fiber-based wireless backhaul.
Although it does not operate a wireless network itself, CenturyLink is bearing the benefits of the ongoing consumption of data and multimedia services traversing the wireless networks thanks to Blackberry and iPhone. Key to the ILEC's wireless backhaul strategy is an ongoing fiber build out to cellular towers that reside in its now 33-state territory that encompasses the legacy EMBARQ and legacy CenturyTel. Earlier this fall, CenturyLink announced an enhancement to its wireless backhaul where it would deploy Calix's GPON Optical Network Terminals (ONTs).
In this deployment, CenturyLink will use Calix's GPON-based ONTs to enable its wireless operator customers to keep up with their customers' ongoing need for bandwidth intensive mobile voice, data and video services, with a solution that can address today's multi-T1 and emerging Gigabit Ethernet-based service needs. In addition, CenturyLink wants to be prepared with backhaul capabilities that will meet LTE's 100 Mbps wireless backhaul requirements.