& cplSiteName &

Sprint Eyes WiMax Backhaul

Dan Jones
9/21/2006
50%
50%

NEW YORK -- When Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) starts to roll out WiMax in Chicago and Washington, D.C., at the end of 2007 it is also considering using the wireless technology as a cost-effective way of providing backhaul for the new broadband networks.

At the jam-packed "Backhaul Strategies for Mobile Operators" Light Reading Live show in New York City on Thursday afternoon, Ali Afrashteh, VP of access technologies for Sprint Nextel, expanded on the reasons behind the carrier's move to WiMax and how the technology also forms part of its strategy to move to "alternative" methods for linking wireless networks to wired switching centers.

The VP told the crowd at the Westin Hotel in Times Square that Sprint Nextel, the third largest wireless operator in the U.S., is currently using T1 lines for 99 percent of its backhaul tasks and "about 1 percent" uses other technologies.

"T1 is like pizza -- you order it, you get it," Afrashteh quipped. "The problem is, you order it for dinner and you get it for lunch next day, it's cold, there's no topping, and there's only one store you can get it from -- and that's Pizza Hut."

Sprint Nextel is already planning to use its massive domininance in the 2.5GHz spectrum band -- the operator has 85 percent of the band in the 100 top markets in the U.S. -- to provide high-speed WiMax services across the country by the end of 2008. Afrashteh says that Sprint is very interested at looking at using the technology for backhaul as well. "Alternative backhaul is important to us."

Putting in WiMax backhaul for its so-called "4G" technology could also translate into cost savings for its legacy cellular networks over time. "Absolutely, whatever we use for our 4G we can use for iDEN and CDMA, that's part of our plan and that's how we save -- eventually," said Afrashteh.

Afrashteh stressed a couple of times during his speech that WiMax wasn't the only alternative that the operator was looking at for backhaul. A good portion of his presentation and the majority of the questions from the crowd, however, focused on the wireless metropolitan area standard.

The VP says Sprint will use a whopping 30MHz of spectrum to deploy WiMax in the two test markets at the end of 2007: "We're initially using 30MHz of spectrum [that's 3 channels of 10Mhz] -- otherwise we are worried that WiMax will not work on the edge of the cell." The operator has so much bandwidth in the band that Afrashteh says that he is also considering using another 30MHz for backhaul. "We can use another 30MHz for backhaul -- not everywhere, but we can do that."

Compare this to the operator's current CDMA EV-DO high-speed technology, which uses a single 1.25MHz channel for voice and data transmissions, although some variants band together more channels for more horsepower. "When you want to start with the big bandwidths it is very hard to be in CDMA."

Afrashteh says Sprint needs this kind of bandwidth for access and backhaul in order to be able to start to offer mobile broadband at prices that make it attractive as a cable replacement. "People will only pay so much for mobility," he told us after the show.

It is also clear that Sprint hasn't quite settled on how it will use WiMax as a backhaul technology. Initially, Afrashteh says, the carrier is looking at using 802.16d fixed WiMax -- possibly modified to reduce packet jitter and delay -- alongside its mobile network. It may, however, move to 802.16e if the price drops as manufacturing volumes ramp up.

The company has also been examining the use of mesh for both access and backhaul on the same network. "We are testing mesh in Houston, we're doing it in Virginia, we're doing it in Kansas City," he says.

Whatever happens, the company is hoping to move -- albeit slowly -- away from its T1 habit in the next five years. Afrashteh wants to have 10 to 20 percent WiMax backhaul in the mix by then -- "particularly in the larger markets."

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Dredgie
50%
50%
Dredgie,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:39:57 AM
re: Sprint Eyes WiMax Backhaul
Anyone know?
ramsu
50%
50%
ramsu,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:39:55 AM
re: Sprint Eyes WiMax Backhaul
Motorola is a major vendor for this rollout. Dunno who else is in there.
OldPOTS
50%
50%
OldPOTS,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:39:52 AM
re: Sprint Eyes WiMax Backhaul
Backhaul for wireless networks is a significant part of a wireless networks cost. Can't count the times that I've been asked to address this issue over the years. Here is a real oppertunity for those VCs.

No-OP
apac_fiber
50%
50%
apac_fiber,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:39:51 AM
re: Sprint Eyes WiMax Backhaul
PWE3 or something else?

jcrawshaw
50%
50%
jcrawshaw,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:39:51 AM
re: Sprint Eyes WiMax Backhaul
Motorola and Samsung.
alchemy
50%
50%
alchemy,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:39:49 AM
re: Sprint Eyes WiMax Backhaul
With the Sprint/MSO joint venture, one can imagine that Sprint will also get access to MSO data networks either through T1 pseudowire over DOCSIS, direct DOCSIS IP connectivity using a cable modem, or technology du jour over fiber. You would think that WiMax would mostly be used to get from the tower to the closest point of presence for an MSO. That coax has power on it to run amplifiers so it can also power strand-mounted WiMax gear with little directional antennas pointed towards the tower.
rjmcmahon
50%
50%
rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:39:49 AM
re: Sprint Eyes WiMax Backhaul
re:With the Sprint/MSO joint venture, one can imagine that Sprint will also get access to MSO data networks either through T1 pseudowire over DOCSIS, direct DOCSIS IP connectivity using a cable modem, or technology du jour over fiber.

What's been holding this back to date? Sprint's needed a second source backhauls for awhile now. Why haven't the MSO's responded by now?
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Documentaries
All Change in Video

2|11|16   |   33:12   |   (1) comment


At this moderated panel at 2020 Vision in Dublin, Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader of Light Reading, sits down with Jeff Finkelstein, director of network architecture at Cox Communications, to discuss the rapidly changing video market.
LRTV Custom TV
Hosting in Ireland, Past & Present

2|10|16   |   16:07   |   (0) comments


Garry Connolly, president of Host in Ireland, presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
What's Hot in Mobile Commerce?

2|10|16   |   12:18   |   (1) comment


Claire Maslen, financial services relationship manager at the GSMA, talks about the development of the digital commerce sector and the types of relationships that mobile operators are developing to further their m-commerce strategies.
LRTV Documentaries
EANTC Tests Nokia IP Routing & Mobile Gateway VNFs for Real World Deployment

2|9|16   |   5:08   |   (1) comment


Nokia obtained validation of its virtualized router and virtualized mobile gateway capabilities through rigorous testing performed by EANTC. The results set a new industry benchmark for outstanding performance, scalability, resiliency and manageability. Nokia VNFs are ready for telco cloud deployment, so that service providers can accelerate mobile, business and ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
Cincinnati Bell Joins Weight Watchers Club
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/5/2016
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Animals with Phones
Retro Is the Way to Be Click Here
Some animals are too cute for smartphones.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.