Tower Cloud's Mudry: Wireless backhaul deals are creating new enterprise service opportunities

Tower Cloud may have established itself as an alternative wholesale wireless backhaul player, but as it builds out fiber into more parts of the Southeast United States, it is incorporating onramps in its network designs to serve local businesses.  

While it's evolving its enterprise services play, the service provider is seeing growing opportunities to serve a mix of local government agencies, military bases, and school districts.

An example of this trend will take place in Augusta, Ga., a market where it announced that it was building 25,350 fiber miles (or 236 route miles) to satisfy a new backhaul contract with one of the top four wireless operators serving Augusta and other nearby cities.

Upon completion it will be able to use that fiber to enhance its on-net building reach to deliver Ethernet Private Line and other optical-based services to local businesses and other carriers.

Ron Mudry, founder and CEO for Tower Cloud, told FierceTelecom that part of the network design will incorporate ways to provide services to local business customers that reside along the fiber route.

"As we design this network custom-built for the wireless carrier, there's opportunity to adapt that design to enable better service and access for enterprises, military bases, hospitals and schools," Mudry said. "In addition to adding more fiber capacity, we can modify routing and access points that can make it easy for enterprises to jump on and have high capacity to the Internet and other locations for cloud services and data centers."

Perhaps not surprisingly, Tower Cloud can offer enterprise customers a host of Ethernet and optical services, including 10G and increasingly 100G. It can also provide enterprises a mix of dark fiber services.

Mudry said that "we see the fiber builds as a platform to expand high speed services."

What's interesting about Tower Cloud's wireless backhaul builds is that a number of cell sites it has to connect its fiber to often reside on top of existing buildings. It has fiber in about 100 buildings that also house macro cell towers in Atlanta, for example.

"We talk about them as tower, but a lot of cell sites are on the roofs of commercial buildings, so we have fiber right in there," Mudry said. "We see in metro areas a high percentage of the macros correlate with locations [where] you can sell enterprise, schools and hospitals services because the macros are in the same place where the other opportunities are."

As it meets the requirements of a wireless customer at a building site it could potentially work with the building owner to target business tenants. That could include providing backhaul for an existing distributed antenna system (DAS) and traditional Ethernet-based Internet services inside the building.

"You build to a building to serve the macro on the rooftop, and if it has a DAS system you can provide the backhaul for that. And then you can also provide general access and IP Ethernet connections that are inside the buildings," Mudry said. "You could get three different customer segments from a single build."

Related articles:
Tower Cloud adds 25K fiber miles in Augusta, Ga. to accommodate wireless backhaul contract
Tower Cloud begins 1,300 mile Florida dark fiber build for Tier 1 wireless operator, ramps up installation services
Southern Telecom enhances dark fiber, on-net building reach in Georgia, Alabama
Tower Cloud deepens presence in enterprise market with Ethernet Private Line services