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Use Case Demonstrates Fixed Wireless Can Compete Against Fiber

There is growing appeal of fixed wireless access (FWA) as an alternative to fiber-class access methods, according to a white paper released by OVUM, a market-leading research and consulting business. Skywire Networks, one of the most active and fastest growing Ethernet providers in New York City, supported the white paper initiative.

Commenting on the findings, Daryl Schoolar, Practice Leader at Ovum stated, “For more than a decade, there has been great interest in operators using fixed wireless access, or microwave, as a viable “last-mile” technology, however, the technology was potentially unstable under certain environmental conditions and could not accommodate high capacity transport.”

Schoolar continued, “Our research clearly shows that operators today using point to point fixed wireless to connect their customers to the internet can offer speeds and performance guarantees on par with those operators that are using end-to-end fiber alone for network access.”

The following are some of the reasons the market for fixed wireless access remains an attractive option.

Access. In the U.S. today, there remain both highly populated and thinly populated areas without access to high-speed Internet. This includes major metro areas like New York City, not just rural America.

Speed. Fixed wireless access has a significantly faster install time than other fixed broadband networks, especially if an operator must trench fiber to reach the customer.

Cost. Fixed wireless has a much lower upfront cost to build than fiber. This lower cost makes reaching certain locations more economically feasible. For carriers, fixed wireless provides a reliable and economic way to extend their network reach.

“Interest and adoption of FWA as an access path for enterprise-class, full SLA Ethernet continues to rapidly grow,” said Alan Levy, co-founder and CEO of Skywire Networks. “The white paper findings, further validate our business thesis that fixed wireless access technology can compete directly against other technologies, including fiber, in their ability to transport Ethernet. Consumers, enterprises, and carriers use the Ethernet and internet layers, not the layers they’re transported on, to enable their networks.”

The white paper provides a summary of the topic as well as an overview of the FWA market and examines the drivers for FWA adoption and features an interview with Emeka Ibekweh, managing director of technology at Ascend Learning, a public charter school with ten sites, all in Brooklyn. In the white paper, Ibekweh states that, “Ascend Learning encountered speed and connectivity issues due to its dependency on slower speed T-1 connections prior to contracting with Skywire Networks back in 2013.”

“Ascend Learning’s school district currently has over 4,000 students in grades kindergarten through high school. Given that technology is built into the way students as young as kindergarten learn, we couldn’t fulfill our primary educational objectives without high-speed broadband Internet access,” said Emeka Ibekweh, managing director of technology at Ascend Learning. “Skywire Networks has been a true partner to us by providing stable and reliable service where we can run all our applications with ease.”

The OVUM White Paper can be found Here.


Enterprise-ready, All-fiber DAS Networks

Corning and Zhone Technologies have agreed to co-market an all-fiber network solution capable of deploying passive optical local area network (POL) and cellular DAS on a common infrastructure –– Corning’s ONE Wireless Platform. The result will be quicker installation, a smaller equipment footprint, and lower cost for enterprise companies. In the past, companies needed to use solutions from multiple vendors to build separate information technology and cellular networks. Leveraging Zhone’s innovative POL solution, FiberLAN, and Corning’s ONE Wireless Platform, customers can now deploy an integrated fiber network solution that includes both the electronics and passive fiber optic components in one converged solution. www.corning.com

C Spire Wireless Selects Alcatel-Lucent to Deploy 4G LTE network

C Spire Wireless has selected Alcatel-Lucent to build and deploy the initial phase of its 4G LTE network that will cover 2,700 square miles, a population of 1.2 million and more than 360 cell sites. C Spire will invest $60 million for the initial phase of 4G LTE mobile broadband services in 20 Mississippi markets starting in September.

C Spire is deploying Alcatel-Lucent’s 4G LTE solution, including base stations, IP mobile backhaul for 4G LTE and existing 3G CDMA traffic, wireless packet core (WPC) and a complete IP multi-media subsystem (IMS) network core.

“C Spire understands the needs of the market, and has selected Alcatel-Lucent based on the strength of our portfolio, our deep domain expertise deploying networks, and our rich history of innovation, which will help them continue to deliver a new breed of personalized applications and services at the speeds consumers are now craving,” said Robert Vrij, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s Americas region.

C Spire will also be using fiber and Ethernet backhaul at every site and the latest remote radio head (RRH) and four-branch diversity receiver technology for the base stations.

Since announcing the initial phase of its LTE plans in early March, C Spire has made significant progress in deploying key elements of its mobile broadband network, including installation and testing of all major core network elements, completion of the second phase of base station equipment installation and integration of Ethernet backhaul at more than 70 percent of the 360-plus cell sites slated for LTE service.

Lightower to Build New Route to Major Financial Facility in New Jersey

Lightower Fiber Networks plans to build into a major financial exchange data center in Mahwah, N.J., to fortify its existing ultra-low-latency network. A dense network is already in place near the Mahwah facility and Lightower will be ready to build to the facility as soon as access is available to service providers.

Access to the facility is being dictated by the New York Stock Exchange, according to Doug Dalissandro, executive vice president sales and marketing, for Lightower. “It is expected that they will allow service providers to build into the facility starting in late 2012 or early 2013,” Dalissandro told the Backhaul Bulletin.

Lightower will integrate the site into its network of ultra-low-latency routes and solutions once the Mahwah financial hub opens to service providers. Lightower has the most fiber routes and access into more service locations of any metro fiber provider in the New York City and northern New Jersey area. Solutions for the financial services industry are a major focus for Lightower. This financial services network includes hubs at 15 strategic data centers and liquidity centers in the region including locations in New York City and the New Jersey cities of Clifton, Newark, Piscataway, Carteret, Jersey City and Weehawken.

Because Lightower has a dense network in place surrounding the facility, as soon as Lightower is allowed to build into the facility, they will be in immediately, Dalissandro told the Bulletin. “For Lightower, the build will be a short and simple one to get its fiber inside the facility. Other service providers who are planning to build in may not have network in the vicinity therefore it may take them quite a while to connect the facility to the rest of their network.”

In a press release, Lightower’s chief executive officer, Rob Shanahan, said, “Lightower will offer customers the most networking options at this critical financial services destination. With the dense network that Lightower already has in place near the facility, we will be able to offer multiple geographically diverse routing options to customers in order to connect them to other major data centers in the area.” “Customers can also connect from Mahwah to any of the hundreds of commercial buildings Lightower is built into in New York City, or any of our thousands of service locations throughout the entire Northeast.”