Zayo awarded 30-market FTTT contract from major wireless operator

wireless tower
Zayo snagged a large follow-on dark fiber macro tower backhaul contract with a large wireless operator. (Image: Pixabay)

Zayo has won a new fiber-to-the-tower (FTTT) contract with a national wireless operator covering new macro towers in 30 markets across 21 states. This deal marks one of the service provider's largest dark fiber-based backhaul contracts to date. 

This contact, which is an extension of an existing agreement the carrier signed in September 2016, will connect thousands of macro towers for the customer.

For this carrier, Zayo was tasked with expanding and upgrading an unnamed wireless operator customer’s fiber to the tower (FTTT) network. As part of that build, Zayo will bring dark fiber facilities to over 1,800 cell sites in 26 markets.

After it completes this expansion, Zayo’s FTTT network will surpass an estimated 10,000 cell sites nationwide, including those under construction.

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The service provider will install dark fiber infrastructure. In some cases, Zayo will be replacing legacy Ethernet circuits.

The dark fiber deployment will support the wireless carrier’s strategy of improving coverage and capacity across its network to accommodate increasing traffic and to prepare for 5G. Zayo will leverage its existing fiber network, including construction of hundreds of route miles of fiber, to fulfill this contract.

Dan Caruso

This agreement pertains to macro towers. Under other contracts, Zayo is deploying small cell infrastructure for this wireless carrier customer. In many cases, these are full turnkey implementations, including RF design, site acquisition, permitting and installation of equipment.

Like other large FTTT contracts, this latest deal will not only use fiber infrastructure Zayo already deployed, but it will also enable it to pursue adjacent network opportunities with additional wireless operators and school districts.

“Mobile Infrastructure projects like these leverage existing fiber networks,” said Dan Caruso. “They also result in further network expansion, which is then leveraged for other customer projects, including healthcare, school districts and other wireless carriers.”

Such a trend is happening in markets like Texas where Zayo is extending services across a 1,178-mile Texas school district, which leverages a 122-site FTTT build in Dallas. The service provider will bring services to schools located in the Texas Education Service Center Region 11 via a fiber network build that's under construction in Dallas-Fort Worth for a major wireless operator, for example.