We’ve noted that Verizon plans to use its fiber network for backhaul for its future Long Term Evolution network, and today it says that it will also rent out capacity on that fiber network to other wireless carriers as well. As our readers are quick to point out, backhaul is the elephant in the room when we talk about fast wireless data, because no matter how much capacity and speed can be theoretically delivered over the air, there’s still the matter of connecting a cell site back to the Internet.
With a T-1 connection or some other setups, reaching LTE’s theoretical speeds of 150 Mbps down is beyond ridiculous — and even the more realistic speeds of 10 Mbps down are unlikely. This makes backhaul the kink in the hose that can slow data speeds for wireless networks to a trickle. Fiber to a cell site is one option, and since Verizon is spending billions building out its FiOS network, it may as well rent out capacity to others and make some money off its $19 billion investment.
Verizon will offer access to its fiber networks through its Verizon Partner Solutions business. There are three options: Switched Ethernet Service, an all-Ethernet option, and an Ethernet over SONET choice. Verizon says that in each case data from the cell site is converted immediately to packetized data for transport to mobile telephone switching offices for distribution over appropriate networks.