Optical/IP Networks

Verizon: This Is How We'll Do It

4:45 PM -- While in-depth conversation about backhauling wireless networks might seem a sure-fire cure for insomnia to many of you, it certainly is a popular topic today.

I'm here at Times Square, covering Light Reading's own Backhaul Strategies for Mobile Operators event. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has already talked about how it needs more Ethernet backhaul for 3G sites. Soon, we'll be looking into what it takes to craft a decent backhaul network for new Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks. [Ed. note: Be still, my beating heart!]

While half-way across the country in Nashville, Verizon Wireless CTO Tony Melone has been talking about how his company will provide the horsepower behind its planned LTE network. Melone said that -- like Sprint -- it really wants Ethernet everywhere, either over fiber or microwave.

"If fiber is available, it's the better alternative," Melone tells FierceWireless. "And it's more scalable. But microwave has come a long way in terms of scalability." Melone is also looking at distributed antenna systems, picocells, and femtocells as ways of increasing capacity on the front-end of the radio access network. So the whole strategy can be summarized as small radios in front, with a big pipe in the back.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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