Qwest Reshapes Wireless Backhaul

The new Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) Adaptive Broadband wholesale offering for wireless backhaul isn't intended just to set Qwest apart in a contentious market. It's grander than that.

Qwest would like to dramatically change the way it sells wireless backhaul bandwidth, eliminating the RFP process and the contracts in favor of real-time delivery that can tap copper or fiber facilities flexibly.

The idea, says Roland Thornton, executive VP of Qwest Wholesale, is to streamline Qwest's internal processes to focus not on the media -- copper T-1s, or bonded Ethernet over copper or fiber -- but on the bandwidth requirements of a service provider.

"Rather than looking at disconnecting copper and adding fiber, we are looking at bandwidth, as in how much do you need, whether it is fiber or copper," Thornton says. "We can deliver this bandwidth in a much more efficient way, and there will be significant savings on a cost per bandwidth basis."

Qwest is in the process of creating a self-service portal that will enable customers to turn up or push back bandwidth orders, depending on variations in their bandwidth needs. Qwest manages the copper-to-fiber transition itself, so the customer is engaged only in ordering the bandwidth required, Thornton says.

Qwest expects the new process to lower costs by simplifying the contracting, ordering, and construction prioritization processes. Just eliminating the RFP process saves money, Thornton says, because of the back-and-forth negotiations that result.

"We will respond to the RFPs, if customers want to continue to go down that path," he says. "Where this product completely changes the game, is that you don't have to do the RFP anymore. We believe we can dramatically reduce the time by using adaptive broadband products as opposed to going through the whole RFP process."

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 4:20:16 PM
re: Qwest Reshapes Wireless Backhaul

In this case, they are getting bandwidth to specific cell sites. In theory, they could turn up more bandwidth if traffic really takes off, or even delay planned bandwidth if something happens to dampen demand.

Qwest is still working on the portal part, however.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:20:16 PM
re: Qwest Reshapes Wireless Backhaul

This sounds a lot like what the Ethernet exchanges want to do -- set up a portal, have carriers provision their own bandwidth.  Makes sense.

dmdurrett 12/5/2012 | 4:20:12 PM
re: Qwest Reshapes Wireless Backhaul

Sounds like a great move.  "We'll get you the bandwidth, don't worry about how we get it to you."

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:20:11 PM
re: Qwest Reshapes Wireless Backhaul


This is in response to the Verizon Wireless RFP that required fiber...but also required 100 Mb/s symmetric to all sites.  Let's see 12Kft, 100 Mb/s...carry the 2...divide by pi...log of e...yeah, install fiber.




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