FiberLight gets invited to Clearwire's 4G backhaul party

FiberLight's fiber network capabilities has gotten the attention of mobile WiMAX provider Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR), which will leverage the service provider's core fiber network infrastructure to support its wireless rollouts in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Texas and Florida.

To support Clearwire's ambitious multiyear build out plan, which will reach 80 markets with its CLEAR 4G mobile WiMAX service, FiberLight will provide the WiMAX operator with more than 900 route miles of optical transport.

This deployment will connect not only Clearwire's key aggregation points, but also existing MTSOs, hundreds of cell towers and become the wireline backbone for new customers it wants to target in the District of Columbia, Texas, Florida and Maryland markets.

Ben Edmond, EVP of Sales and Marketing for FiberLight, likes his chances in the wireless backhaul segment and believes its 500,000 fiber mile footprint is what will set it apart from other competitive wholesale players.

"A significant amount of investment is going on in wireless backhaul and FiberLight is no different than the other carriers out there and participating where we can understanding that the economics don't always make sense and pick areas that do make sense to leverage our fiber networks," he said in an interview with FierceTelecom. "We feel we have a nice competitive advantage in the fact that we have such a broad reach in the markets."

Edmond added that in Dallas, Texas alone it has "300 miles all through the Dallas metro area and by layering carrier Ethernet-based services over that rich fiber you can reach a lot of points of presence."

While FiberLight works with a number of other unnamed large wireless operators, being able to announce the Clearwire win validates its wireless backhaul capabilities. Even for integrated service providers that have wireless and wireless assets such as AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) with their respective LTE wireless rollout plans, FiberLight could be another source of backhaul in markets where it might not have available wireline facilities.

For incumbent carriers and competitive wholesale providers alike, wireless backhaul is becoming a major revenue opportunity. When Verizon initially announced its LTE rollout plans, it struck wireless backhaul contracts with a number of incumbent and competitive fiber and microwave wholesale operators.   

For more:
- see the release

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