Tower Cloud, a wireless backhaul specialist, is continuing to see ongoing demand from wholesale its customer base in Central Florida, and has responded by adding 782 route miles and upgrading its network to 10 Gbps.
The service provider added 54 new cell sites in Daytona Beach and 102 sites in Orlando, increasing its Central Florida coverage by almost 200 percent. It also added new intercity routes along its network between Jacksonville, Daytona Beach and Orlando.
With the new 10G platform it put into the network, it can provide 1 Gbps to each cell site as a foundation for future growth. Initially delivering 1G speeds using CWDM, the new 10G network leverages a DWDM platform from Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU).
"We're just continuing to enhance our deep presence in the Southeast and drive the regional efficiencies and keep up with this tremendous bandwidth growth we're seeing," said George Townsend, senior vice president of business development, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "We increased our network by 782 route miles and have gone from a 1 Gig CWDM network to a 10 Gig DWDM network that we have in the Georgia and Alabama markets."
Townsend added that these upgrades will allow them to get "a Gig to every site as that demand gets there that's much larger than the 300 Mbps to the cell site that the carriers were asking us to build to in the past."
Tower Cloud's upgrade strategy has not been without its challenges. Because it operates a hybrid microwave and fiber network, it had to upgrade a number of cell sites that used microwave with fiber to accommodate a large customer request.
"Microwave has some limitations, so on a few of the sites we were not able to immediately address their needs," Townsend said. "Now, we're going out and building fiber to the sites that we equipped with microwave in order to support that bandwidth."
By the end of the month, it will have no microwave links in its Orlando network.
Equipping its Central Florida network with 10G is part of a broader initiative the service provider is taking in a number of its markets. These upgrades and network expansions follow the service provider's completion of a similar upgrade in Georgia and Alabama.
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