Going Inside the Network at this year's TIA show

Sean Buckley, FierceTelecomToday, we're kicking off our coverage of next week's TIA Inside the Network event with a special interview with Grant Seiffert, President of the TIA.

In this interview, Seiffert and I talk about what he believes will be some of the pertinent topics that will be discussed during the new show. Some of the issues we explore include the alliance between traditional telcos and utilities, Tier 2-3 ILEC wireless backhaul opportunities, sustainability and the ongoing emergence of cloud services.

Two of the trends that I believe will stick out for FierceTelecom in its coverage of the show will be cloud services and Tier 2-3 telcos providing wireless backhaul services.

Over the past few months, activity in the cloud services space has continued to heat up with service providers like CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), TDS (NYSE: TDS), Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) all making targeted acquisitions to bolster their cloud strategies.

At the same time, the ongoing drive by wireless operators such as Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T), Sprint (NYSE: S) and T-Mobile are creating new opportunities for not only independent telcos (CenturyLink and Windstream), but also a host of smaller ILECs and even cooperative wholesale service providers Independent Optical Networks and Idaho-based Syringa Networks.

Interestingly, Jim Becker, CEO of ION, which was initially built to provide middle mile transport to 12 upstate New York rural telephone companies, told me that a growing portion of its profits continues to wireless backhaul and that "RLEC traffic represents less than 20 percent of our revenue."

Early next week, FierceTelecom will publish its TIA Inside the Network show preview to talk about the trends we believe will be hot at the show--which will begin on Tuesday, May 17 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Dallas.

Of course, I will be there in full force on the show floor and in the conference halls covering the keynote speeches and meeting with executives to talk about wireline industry trends.

While TIA Inside the Network is not your grandfather's SUPERCOMM of the late 1990s and early 2000s, I encourage you to reach out to me if you'd like to conduct a meeting during the show. --Sean