Cable's cashing in on wireless backhaul

With a strong mix of HFC and even fiber going into its residential and business customer sites, it's not hard to imagine that cable MSOs are already major purveyors of wholesale wireless backhaul services to wireless operators. According to Visant Strategies new "U.S. Mobile Backhaul 2010: Continued Expansion 2009 to 2015 and the Needs of the Middle Network" study, cable's role as a wireless backhaul provider will continue to grow especially as more wireless users adopt femtocells to enhance coverage in their homes.

One cable MSO that's already taking charge of the wireless backhaul opportunity is Cox Business. Although it has only been in recent years that its parent Cox Communications renewed its wireless push, the service provider said wireless backhaul over its HFC and fiber networks comes easily from its initial wholesale carrier roots. "Wireless backhaul is clearly driving a lot of the growth there, but realize we have been at that game for about 15 years," said Kristine Faulkner, vice president of product development for Cox Business. "Cox Business really started out in the market by serving as a last mile provider to the IXCs in our fiber-rich areas."

Visant reports that base stations with 24 Mbps of capacity growing by a factor 20 from 2009 to 2015, the overall wireless backhaul market represents a large opportunity for wholesale operators (cable, traditional ILECs and wireless backhaul specialists such as FiberTower). FierceTelecom will discuss wholesale wireless backhaul opportunities in a breakfast roundtable during this week's SUPERCOMM show.

For more:
- CED has this article
- See the FierceTelecom backhaul panel brochure here