CENX wins a seat at LightSquared's 4G wireless backhaul table

CENX has just won a contract to supply its recently debuted wireless backhaul platform to LightSquared as the wireless operator moves ahead with its 4G wireless rollout in the U.S.  

This deal provides some much needed validation for CENX's move in March to make its Carrier Ethernet exchanges aggregation points available to Ethernet wireless backhaul access providers.

With its wireless backhaul exchange platform, CENX said it is delivering simplicity and savings to wireless operators such as LightSquared by helping them access any market and aggregate multiple access providers to get total coverage of the cell sites they need to reach.

Nan Chen, President, CENX

Nan Chen, President of CENX: "...we will be able to deliver to wireless operators like LightSquared 37 percent savings to wireless operators on their wireless backhaul costs."

In LightSquared's case, CENX will support, eventually, 40,000 towers with its wireless backhaul exchange platform.

Nan Chen, President of CENX said that one of the big advantages for LightSquared and any wireless operator is cost savings.

"The important thing is (with) the exchange platform CENX has delivered we will be able to deliver to wireless operators like LightSquared 37 percent savings to wireless operators on their wireless backhaul costs," he said. "Wireless providers will spend about a half billion to $2 billion a year on backhaul circuits alone to deliver 4G LTE so 25-37 percent savings is a big deal."  

Besides savings, the other aspect that CENX is touting with its wireless backhaul Ethernet exchange is operational simplicity through its proprietary OSS platform.

Up until now, a wireless operator had to either hand all of their wireless backhaul business to one service provider, usually the ILEC. The better scenario is being able to access multiple service providers to get the best price for traditionally TDM-based T1 circuits.

"Obviously the challenge with using multiple access providers is (it's) harder to manage, which is why the wireless guys did not want to deal with it," Chen said.

In addition to dealing with multiple aggregated service providers, the other challenge is dealing with more than one class of service that has been the norm on T1 access circuits.  

"The second challenge associated with Ethernet is dealing with multiple classes of service," Chen said. "Traditionally, wireless operators had been using multiple T1s, which have real-time classes of service."

With Ethernet-based backhaul, a wireless operator can now set up specific CoS specifications for both real-time delay sensitive traffic such as voice and then a lower CoS for best effort data.  

CENX's platform overcomes these Ethernet backhaul challenges by incorporating systems and processes in place to conduct the integration of various backhaul providers. The OSS system includes a set of processes for order fulfillment, tracking, provisioning, turn up testing, and operational performance/fault monitoring for Ethernet-based wireless backhaul.  

Given the diverse nature of every wireless operator's network, the monitoring system can be delivered as a pre-engineered solution or integrated into a wireless operator's existing on-network service OAM solution.

Aggregating wireless backhaul solutions is not a factor for wireless upstarts such as LightSquared, however. Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ), while obviously using its parent's wireline network for backhaul, had contracted with nine wholesale providers for wireless backhaul outside of its traditional wireline territory.

While he could not reveal other wireless operator names, Chen did say that CENX has agreements in place with other wireless operators for its wireless backhaul Ethernet exchange platform.  

For more:
- see the release

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