Windstream has begun offering its fixed wireless access service to business customers in Salt Lake City, kicking off a multi-city buildout to complement its copper- and fiber-based network offerings.
While Windstream is increasing its fiber-based footprint, the telco can’t reach every business. Accordingly, it plans to use the fixed wireless service to address customers not on fiber today and deliver its mix of Ethernet, cloud and MPLS-based services. Leveraging digital microwave technology, Windstream's fixed wireless service supports Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) or MPLS networks with QoS and delivers speeds up to 1 Gbps, as well as terrestrial diversity.
Additionally, businesses can use the broadband wireless service as a network diversity and backup tool to ensure uptime in the event of a network outage.
Salt Lake City is just one of several cities where Windstream plans to offer the service.
Tony Thomas, president and CEO of Windstream, told investors during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia 2016 event that the service provider plans to extend the service into additional markets to increase the wallet share with SMB customers.
“We have a great set of fixed wireless assets and we’re launching a fixed wireless expansion program across 25 markets in addition to the other 15 markets that we had underway,” Thomas said. “I think that will be another way for us to be more competitive in the SMB/CLEC space.”
While Windstream is a traditional wireline carrier, the service provider has been enhancing its network with fixed wireless.
In 2014, the service provider purchased Business Only Broadband (BOB), a Chicago-based wireless operator focused on business customers.
BOB brought with it a collection of wireless spectrum in the 11 GHz, 18 GHz and 23 GHz bands and set out to build the largest independent wireless broadband network initially in Chicago.
Following early market rollouts in New York City, northern New Jersey and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Windstream has continued to extend the service into new markets such as Salt Lake City and Boston.
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