Qwest steps up wireless backhaul effort

Seeing an opportunity to support the wireless industry's bandwidth-intensive wireless multimedia services, Qwest has launched a fiber and Ethernet-based backhaul wholesale service. Taking what Qwest's CTO Pieter Poll often refers to as a "smart builds" approach to its network build outs, the new wireless backhaul service leverages the telco's ongoing Fiber to the Node (FTTN) network deployment to offer the service to wireless operators. Under the guise of this smart builds approach, Qwest will extend fiber into other areas along the path of its FTTN deployment such as cell sites to accommodate opportunities that might arise.

Similar to other offerings from fellow ILEC Verizon, Qwest's new wireless backhaul service, which is available in either a Ethernet over SONET or Metro Optical Ethernet mode, is designed to help wireless keep up with the consumer and business user's appetite for smart phones, laptops netbooks and bandwidth hungry mobile video devices.

Unlike the traditional TDM-based T1 circuits that have been the bread and butter of all of the telco's wholesale offerings, the new service enables wireless operators to increase capacity on an "as-needed basis" through software. Qwest claims that with its software-based provisioning approach it can cut not only reduce manual equipment upgrades, but also speed up service activation.

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