If it’s true that perception is reality, and that expectations impact perception, then a new reality meets at the corner of fiber and wireless. The world in which we live has gone mobile, and there will be no backtracking on this. Wireless is much too convenient for consumers. But one of the inconvenient truths to that point is the fact that wireless technology requires and relies on fiber for its delivery to the customer. It must travel over great distances, and certain types of mobile, specifically LTE, are completely reliant upon fiber.
And the word “mobile” is almost synonymous with “wireless,” but in fact the two are different; wireless can refer to mobile and mobility, but also includes micro/millimeter wave, which is essentially a network transport service. Mobile and mobility are basically end-user and device driven. Fiber-based network services (Ethernet and WDM) are optimally deployed over fiber and are the only technologies that can carry today’s current generation mobile data traffic, specifically video (streamed, cached and full duplex – OovoO/Facetime, etc.). Mobility creates convenience and can also increase user productivity, yet it ultimately still must travel through fibers and wire on the ground.
Their extraordinary proposition is in developing a network-neutral system with an ample supply of state-of-the art dark fiber available for lease that provides substantial physical diversity from all existing dark and lit fiber networks.
RCR Wireless recently had a few minutes to sit down and chat with Hunter Newby, Allied Fiber’s CEO, and ask questions about this blurring line between wireless and wireline.
RCR Wireless News: What are the value propositions of the co-existence between wireless and wired technologies? And how do your companies help support these benefits?
Hunter Newby: The value propositions and co-existence of wireless and fiber are intertwined. One of the primary drivers for and benefits of Allied Fiber is enabling fiber to the tower for wireless backhaul providers to the mobile operators. The Allied Fiber system possesses the unique attribute of physical splice points in to the fiber cable every 3,000 to 5,000 feet along the route. These splice points make it easy for local networks to access the superstructure and thus devices to access the global network without multiple hops and gatekeepers mitigating issues. Access opportunities are significantly increased.
<b?RCRWN:The convergence of wired and wireless is a critical component for the businessperson’s overall user experience. What are the revenue drivers here?
Newby: GDP growth and productivity gains are the drivers. People will spend money to be more productive and have greater levels of higher quality access – it’s a basic economic and marketing principle.
RCRWN: How does virtualization and interconnection, including IPX, help drive this convergence?
Newby: Everything at the higher layer of the stack drives the lower layers. The more output on the wireless end, the more necessary input is required on the ground.
RCRWN: How are LTE, Wi-Fi and mobile broadband technologies driving and impacting your business?
Newby: Again, all higher layer growth and demand drives the lower layers and it is the lower layers being what they are that allows and requires the higher layers to exist. It is a symbiotic relationship. Imagine the use of every mobile device and what people do with them. Now imagine how much more they could do if no calls were dropped, no signal was ever lost, always five bars of “4G” all of the time no matter where you are. The delta between today and that point requires a significant amount of money invested in infrastructure as well as time expended. That’s what Allied Fiber will be pushing towards, and prospering in completely new ways.
RCRWN: With HotSpot 2.0 on the horizon, where carriers can maintain seamless connections and service, what specific products do you plan on deploying in order to take advantage of this?
Newby: More fiber access points for more fiber-to-the-tower. The basic utility and ultimate success of next-generation, broadband wireless service relies heavily on the availability of fiber at the wireless tower sites. Without fiber, the new high-speed mobile services currently being touted by almost every wireless service provider will be insufficient to keep up with the capacity demands of their users.
The Allied Fiber system takes a dedicated portion of the fiber in the short-haul duct and sets it aside for the purpose of being accessible on an even shorter distance basis than short-haul (approximately every one to two miles), thus making it easier to create a lateral extension from the backbone where the towers are located. A portion of its larger count fiber cable is set aside for this user group in such a way that it supports lateral construction to existing towers from the greatest vantage point possible, by having multiple proximate options for access.
RCRWN: What is the benefit of having a cellular tower directly connected to a long-haul fiber cable system?
Newby: First, there are no laterals to contend with which are costly and time consuming. Second, it provides ample fiber to use as access to major routing and switching centers. This access further drives choice and cost savings.
RCRWN: What is the benefit of network-neutral regeneration and cellular tower colocation facilities?
Newby: Companies can freely colocate network equipment and interconnect to multiple suppliers and buyers all in the same place, thus making their business cases easier to achieve.
RCRWN: Any final words on the newly realized intersection of fiber and wireless?
Newby: Yes. Allied Fiber is proud to be leading the way through this prolific intersection and off into industrious new directions.
Hunter Newby will speaking on this topic as part of the CEO Roundtables at Telecom Exchange on June 26 in New York City, co-hosted by Jaymie Scotto & Associates and RCR Wireless. Register to watch livestream of CEO Roundtable.