Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Verizon Launches Fiber Backhaul for Other Wireless Carriers

Verizon has begun offering backhaul services to other mobile carriers using its extensive fiber-optic network to connect cellular towers and mobile switching offices. Thousands of Verizon Wireless' cell sites and mobile switching offices across the country are among the first being networked using Ethernet-based fiber-optic technology, under a contract negotiated with Verizon Partner Solutions, the company's U.S. wholesale division. The Verizon fiber links are available to other wireless carriers as well.

Verizon's fiber backhaul solutions include a Switched Ethernet Service; an all-Ethernet option; and an Ethernet over SONET choice, where the data are sent using SONET, and that provides dual routing of traffic through separate facilities and near-instant recovery should one of the links go down. In each case, data from the cell site is converted immediately to packetized data for transport to mobile telephone switching offices for distribution over appropriate networks.

Verizon said its fiber-backhaul availability leverages both the company's transition in recent years from copper to fiber in its transport facilities as well as its aggressive fiber-to-the-home deployment that is delivering FiOS Internet and FiOS TV services in parts of 16 states, and that puts fiber within reach of approximately 85 percent of various carriers' existing cell sites.

"In an increasingly wireless-dependent society, cellular carriers like Verizon Wireless are engineering their networks to meet both the exploding voice and data traffic demands of today and the capacity requirements that next-generation wireless technologies like LTE and WiMax will place on their facilities," said Quintin Lew, senior vice president of marketing for Verizon Partner Solutions.

"We have the right technology in the right place at the time," Lew said. "Wireless carriers will find value in switching from traditional backhaul links to the higher-value connections we can give them with Ethernet and SONET services on fiber."

Verizon Partner Solutions is solely focused on providing solutions to U.S.-based wholesale customers including wireless carriers, long-distance and local service providers and Internet service providers. VPS has a program-management team focused specifically on fiber-to-the-cell-site implementation and support of wireless carriers interested in taking advantage of fiber backhaul.

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