Cleareon Fiber positions NYC dark fiber network to address DAS, C-RAN opportunities

Cleareon Fiber Networks, an emerging dark fiber provider formerly known as Phoenix Fiber Network, sees an opportunity to help building owners improve wireless connectivity as operators expand coverage using distributed antenna systems (DAS) and cloud RAN (C-RAN) technologies.

Its dark fiber network terminates in each POP, ready to cross-connect to an ecosystem of hundreds of wired and wireless carriers, clouds, media companies, financial networks and content providers.  

"The opportunities we see is we're connecting mid to large customers to provide them carrier neutral access to our ecosystem of service providers," said Cliff Kane, co-CEO of Cleareon, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "We often see a lot of opportunity for C-RAN connected to the DAS network and connecting those to hubs or mobile switching centers."

While it would seem like wireless operators are still early in the process of deploying C-RAN architectures, Kane said that he's seeing a lot of interest in its dark fiber.

The company recently met with a building owner and telecommunications consultant who is building a DAS system for a large premise where Cleareon could bring its dark fiber.

"The landlord is building a DAS system on his own dime serving a 900,000 square foot building, but the question is where is he going to connect it to?," Kane said. "We could help pick up from the building to a base station or a hub to connect to multiple carriers in multiple spots and that could be classified as a C-RAN conversation."

As a dark fiber provider, Cleareon is talking to other building owners about how to improve overall wireless coverage in their properties.

"One of the things we're proposing to these landlords who know mobility is the most pressing conversation they are having," Kane said. "If a landlord does it right it's not cheap, but it's not all that expensive either."

In addition to wireless backhaul, the service provider is seeing potential in bringing its fiber to New York City's major data center hubs. Cleareon currently has its dark fiber connected into four of the largest data center facilities in the city.

Over the next few weeks, Cleareon will be able to offer dark fiber services in those data centers.

"We're colocated in the usual places like Telx, DRT so with those POPs we have an ecosystem of carriers and service providers that reside in those colocation facilities so we're looking to pick up some traffic between them," Kane said. "The grand plan is to extend that connectivity out to enterprise buildings and we're going to look to expand into New Jersey and into Brooklyn and develop that footprint in the New York metro area."

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