FiberTower (First Avenue Wireless), said Wednesday it will provide wireless backhaul services from cell site to switch, in seven of Sprint’s initial Mobile WiMax launch markets.
Under the terms of the agreement, FiberTower will deploy commercial ethernet services, which the company said is a first for any mobile backhaul provider. Financial details were not disclosed.
FiberTower is a backhaul and access services provider focused primarily on the wireless carrier market, using its extensive spectrum footprint in 24 GHz and 39 GHz bands. First Avenue Networks merged with FiberTower Corporation in August, 2006, resulting in an installed base in 12 markets with more than 1000 sites. FiberTower bought the spectrum assets of bankrupt of ART (at 39GHz) and Teligent (at 24 GHz), and now owns licenses in the top 77 metropolitan areas.
Competitor XO currently has licenses in the 28 GHz to 31 GHz frequency bands covering 73 major U.S. metropolitan cities.
Sprint plans to launch Mobile WiMax broadband services in three initial markets by the end of 2007, followed by a larger rollout approaching 100 million people by the end of 2008.
In Portland, Oregon (as in many cities), unlicensed 5.8 GHz WiMAX networks are also being used for backhaul. The Freewire Broadband Network (above) is engineered using a fully licensed “RF” backbone servicing their large primary coverage area, and then backed on a fiber ring, with many connections using 5.8 GHz. Same deal with Stephouse Networks.
MetroFi and Easystreet provide 1–10 Mbps business class fixed wireless services that connect point-to-point for Portland businesses. Dragonwave is used by Earthlink and MetroFi for backhaul.
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