Zayo Bandwidth is gaining a stronger foothold in the competitive wireless backhaul wholesale market with 1,000 macro cell sites on-net and more than 500 others under construction.
Already providing a host of network access products to wireless operators, including TDM, fiber or Ethernet, Zayo is now adding its Antenna Infrastructure Solutions (AIS). Available from all of the current Zayo's wireless customers will be able to get connectivity for micro cell technologies, such as distributed antenna systems (DAS), pico cells and remote radio heads.
Depending on a wireless operator's specific needs, the AIS could be fiber-based, Ethernet-based or TDM-based. In addition, wireless operators can choose to purchase a turnkey AIS solution set that includes permitting, equipment sourcing and installation, and network monitoring.
After its board asked Zayo Bandwidth to look at the DAS space, Chris Murphy, Vice President, Sales and Business Development for Zayo Bandwidth, concluded that it was "something we should be pursuing given the fact that we view ourselves as the go to vendor for wireless infrastructure whether that be backhaul, traditional MSC to MSC connectivity or MSC to POP connectivity."
Zayo's timing couldn't be better to introduce AIS. Major wireless operators such as Verizon that are aggressively moving along their LTE deployment timeline are looking for RF DAS solutions.
As wireless operators target customers that live in multi-dwelling units with all-you-can-eat wireless voice and data plans, for example, they could put up macro cell, but the operator wouldn't be able to provide the required coverage so DAS is one option to solve that coverage issue.
"Generally, people view DAS will become more prevalent with LTE as one solution for that RF gap, but pico and micro-type solutions could be used in conjunction with DAS or in place of DAS or used in conjunction or in place of macro cells," Murphy said. "What we saw is if we see ourselves as the go-to go to infrastructure provider, and that infrastructure is predicated on the availability of fiber, TDM or Ethernet-based services, DAS requires what we have to support pico and/or alternative RF solutions to traditional macro cells require that as well."
Given Zayo Bandwidth's role as a wholesale bandwidth provider, AIS could also be used to attract new wireless customers and upsell new services to existing customers.
"Obviously, we will continue to aggressively pursue traditional wireless backhaul," Murphy said. "Really, our continued evolution is what pushed us into the DAS space and that caused us to develop AIS. Some of our applications that were doing and feedback we're the only ones deploying in a manner that's unique and standalone."
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