dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
Xohm Delays Thanks To Backhaul Issues
Provisioning fiber and microwave links slowing expansion...
by Karl Bode 09:30AM Thursday Apr 24 2008 Tipped by tomei See Profile
Sprint CTO Barry West is making the rounds this week explaining why the company's highly promoted Xohm service, which was supposed to be providing you with $40, 2-4Mbps wireless broadband by this point, is still sitting half-baked in the oven. According to the exec, the delays are caused by two things: backhauls and billing. West says finding high-capacity transport links (fiber, microwave) to connect cell sites has been harder than expected, given traditional T1's obviously won't handle the 30 Mb/s to 40 Mb/s of capacity pumped out by each access point.

view:
topics flat nest 

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

Ummmm

Why not just use WiMAX for backhaul? Is it not reliable enough ... not fast enough ... do they not have enough spectrum?

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·T-Mobile US
·Sprint Mobile Br..

1 edit

Re: Ummmm

said by Matt3:

Why not just use WiMAX for backhaul? Is it not reliable enough ... not fast enough ... do they not have enough spectrum?
edit: nevermind

gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA
said by Matt3:

Why not just use WiMAX for backhaul? Is it not reliable enough ... not fast enough ... do they not have enough spectrum?
I expect it's a money issue and Intel isn't following through with it. If thats the case Intel is shooting itself in the foot by not helping the rollout more.
--
There is no greater sign of a general decay of virtue in a nation, than a want of zeal in its inhabitants for the good of their country. ~ Joseph Addison
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Re: Ummmm

If Intel was serious about WiMAX, I would see force bundled WiMAX laptops on shelves right now. Why would anyone get WiMAX over a much bigger EVDO or HSDPA network when it will be the same price and only slightly faster?

gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

Re: Ummmm

Now that I thought about it, I figure Intel wants a workable deployment plan before they stick their neck out too far. It also gives them time to work out the bugs on the chipset and get them to vendors.
--
There is no greater sign of a general decay of virtue in a nation, than a want of zeal in its inhabitants for the good of their country. ~ Joseph Addison
zduice

join:2001-03-03
San Dimas, CA
I am probably wrong here. But install the fiber backhaul on a Sprint owned or leased property (e.g.: middle of a city). Place a WiMax tower on that property and broadcast to all the other towers that are not fiber and/or microwave accessible and have these towers act as relays or repeaters for the service. WiMax range is 25 - 30 miles?

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Saint Clair Shores, MI

1 edit

Re: Ummmm

said by zduice:

I am probably wrong here. But install the fiber backhaul on a Sprint owned or leased property (e.g.: middle of a city). Place a WiMax tower on that property and broadcast to all the other towers that are not fiber and/or microwave accessible and have these towers act as relays or repeaters for the service. WiMax range is 25 - 30 miles?
Citywide access and burbs are still using LEC's to provide that last mile. Even with MAN's, there would be thousands of runs to each tower. Fibertower is doing the microwave bit for but obviously not fast enough. But this info leaked out like mid 1st quarter that the T1's provided by LEC's can't handle the speed. Sprint could, to save face, just step up and tell the industry they will go ahead and set everything up, using the slower path and continue to "upgrade" theses paths but can you imagane the crap Sprint would take (from media and the likes of VZW/AT&T) if they did that? At least it would truely be deployed as they said but not providing the speeds they reported.. at least not yet.
satellite68

join:2007-04-11
Louisville, KY

um, aren't there bigger pipes than T1's??

more expensive, yes, but why not bigger telco pipes? DS3, anyone?

cpayne5
Premium
join:2004-01-06

Re: um, aren't there bigger pipes than T1's??

Most DS3s are fiber these days, which they said is hard to come by (or atleast harder than they thought). Even so, DS3s aren't installed in just a few days, even it is readily available.

stickfigure

join:2002-06-11
El Cajon, CA

Re: um, aren't there bigger pipes than T1's??

yea, but you would think this would have been planned in advance......

cpayne5
Premium
join:2004-01-06

Re: um, aren't there bigger pipes than T1's??

Yeah, you would think.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: um, aren't there bigger pipes than T1's??

yah you would think but Sprint doesnt think nor plan. Everyone should know that by now with the Nextel deal.

Need BB

join:2001-12-21
Rochester, NY
Well it is not the fact that they can't get more T1's or DS3, it is the fact that these lines are very expensive. A T1 for data might only support 5 users if they are using high bandwidth. A T1 costs the providers on average $350 a month, so it is not cost effective for busy cell sites. All the wireless companies are trying to push out microwave as much as possible since they can support OC3 speeds or faster without a monthly line cost.
--
AWD Turbo Power
expert007

join:2006-01-10
Buffalo, NY

1 recommendation

Backhaul Difficulty

It seems like PtP wireless, ie. Towerstream would fit the bill perfectly...

I'm not a Sprint CTO, but I DID stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

sprintguy

@sprintlink.net

Re: Backhaul Difficulty

said by expert007:

It seems like PtP wireless, ie. Towerstream would fit the bill perfectly...

I'm not a Sprint CTO, but I DID stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
You might want to get your money back.

fcisler
Premium
join:2004-06-14
Riverhead, NY

1 recommendation

Planning, anyone?

If they have a T1 going there - then it's either fiber or a pair or two of copper. I also know that they don't run a single pair - or two - of copper.

Take that T1 and upgrade it to a T3 (DS3), or take another pair and use it!!!

If they have been planning this for a while too, how come no one planned ahead and said "Oh, well while we are planning for this - what about backhaul?"

Methinks that they are having other problems and using backhaul issue as a scapegoat.

Your telling me that Sprint/Nextel - A GLOBAL Tier 1 Internet carrier cannot get backhaul?

Puhhhleeeaaazzzz!
expert007

join:2006-01-10
Buffalo, NY

Re: Planning, anyone?

I'd have to agree....I think this comes down to the almighty dollar. IMHO, the backhaul issue should be one of the least complicated issues if the capital investment is there. At the very least, they would continue with their rollout in high profile, high demand markets.

justmeyo

@sprintlink.net
you're not thinking about backhaul in the correct sense. The problem isn't transport across the country. The problem is getting local access to the towers as stated.
expert007

join:2006-01-10
Buffalo, NY

Re: Planning, anyone?

I don't understand what you mean....if Sprint has WiMax gear on an a tower, wouldn't they use that same tower for a backhaul link? And considering that PtP Wireless can go so far, why would it be difficult to backhaul? I must be missing something. Its not the first time....

fcisler
Premium
join:2004-06-14
Riverhead, NY
No I AM thinking backhaul in the correct sense.

Sprint must bring SOME type of backhaul to these towers to support other services - no?

As I said - UPGRADE THE CURRENT BACKHAUL!

If it's an extremely old CO then they may have copper....nows the time to get some fiber there!

If they have fiber there...well it must go somewhere...it's not rocket science to bring up a new circuit or upgrade an old one.

If they can run a transatlantic cable (or pay to be run), then they can pay someone to trench through a field to a cell tower....
BSchlinker
Working 24-7

join:2003-08-25
San Jose, CA

Re: Planning, anyone?

It is not easy to get a DS3 line to a random tower located on the roof top of a building or out in the middle of wooded area somewhere. That just doesn't happen overnight.

Sprint does not own the COs -- they typically negociate with the local telocos for relay service -- and as we know, those telecos love to drag their feet.

At the same time, Sprint doesn't want to pay for 40 - 50 mbps per tower. It just doesn't make sense financially. Instead, they are placing POPs (Points of Presence) at certain locations with a VERY large pool of bandwidth. Other towers in the area then access that pool. Much more efficient.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1
Perhaps its time to order 2mbps SDSL lines for $100-$200 a month instead of a $350 T1.
BSchlinker
Working 24-7

join:2003-08-25
San Jose, CA

Re: Planning, anyone?

Right -- the 2 MBPS SDSL lines with no SLA on them?

Can't wait to see that.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Re: Planning, anyone?

SLAs mean nothing nowadays. A telco would rather give free service each month than to dig up a street and replace a trunk line with water infiltrationm.

pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1

Use Cable for Backhaul

I read some where that some Cell Site operators were using cable for their back-hauls due to the expense of running Fiber to their sites.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.
compuwizz

join:2001-03-05
Reston, VA

Re: Use Cable for Backhaul

Many cell operators in the DC market do use Cable company fiber for backhaul. They buy dark strands from Cox I know for sure and probably the other providers since there is so much fiber around. VZN and Cingular/AT&T were doing this in Northern Virginia.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1
I believe the company that made this product went bankrupt and products were discontinued. Eventually acquired by ADC. Cable providers realized that the cell towers were sucking too much upstream capacity on the coax (remember the issues with cable and cable internet upload being limited b/c very limited amount of channels?), and that they (cable providers) should use the bandwidth for themselves (DOCSIS internet) rather than lease it out to cable companies.

Here is a photo of one such cell tower. »cellularpcs.com/gallery/displayi···&pos=221

wimax1

@vzavenue.net

Wimax Cell Site Issues

To add briefly to the "Planning Comment", Yes they should have for seen this in there planning. It's a little disturbing that the engineers didn't catch this. In the case of WiMax Cell Sites your "back haul" can / will be your weakest link in overall QOS. I have to give Sprint some credit as they are the first to be creating a massive wireless upgrade with this huge bandwidth backhaul required. I'm quite sure the other LTE providers wont admit this possible short-coming for them aswell and looking at Sprint's choice of overall backhaul set-up. I will play devils advocate and say that for the LTE future providers (VZ) I'm quite sure there will be fiber-back hauls directly to strategic towers. FYI - Most current cell-sites do not have fiber access and will not due to there locations. At some towers it will just not be cost-effective to have fiber ran to them. Just because an existing T1 is there doesn't mean there's fiber there or can be placed there easily. And there's a vast amount of towers that are already fed PtP wireless because they couldn't bring copper (T1) to location. But with this new wireless broadband frontier, your backhaul is going to be your very critical part of your network to deliver that customer promised QoS. FYI - The top backhaul players such as Dragonwave & Ceragon, can run from 10-20K for a single tower, and that may not include a back-up unit, so it's very costly, multiply that by 30-50 towers for a metro area ...whew costly ... anyway ... just my two cents!

cpayne5
Premium
join:2004-01-06

Re: Wimax Cell Site Issues

said by wimax1 :

It's a little disturbing that the engineers didn't catch this.
It's a bit unfair to say this. We don't know what the engineers did or didn't catch. A lot of times engineers' plans are changed by the paper pushers "managing" them.
--
Hail To The Redskins
VansHSI

join:2005-01-29
America

Ongoing Problem

The root of this problem that Sprint has as well as T-Mobile and Alltell is that they buy local access from their competitors. The two companies around the country that Sprint buys most of their local access from are Verizon and ATT the two principal telcos and of course their two biggest competitors in the market place.

It's a bind to be in. It's not like ATT and Verizon are jumping through hoops to help get Sprint set up with the proper capacity in the Wimax network so they have a two year headstart on them in the high speed mobile internet space...

Sprint is trying to get more and more local access from Cable companies but they're just starting to get serious with their business offerings in local markets.

GoodDog

join:2000-07-03
Goshen, NY

1 edit

Re: Ongoing Problem

Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, Qwest all share each others last mile access all over the county to support all the T1's, DS3's, OC3's installed in their customers businesses. Why wouldn't they service each others wireless last mile needs in the same fashion?

This is more complicated than that. It takes a lot of time and money to get the local Telco to pull a DS3 or OC3 to a tower especially if that area does not have a fiber backbone. Money is not a resource available to Sprint ATM.

••••

old_dawg
"I Know Noting..."

join:2001-09-22
Westminster, MD

Hmm

Got to love all the armchair engineering in this thread ! In dire need of repeated applications of cluebat.


--
"Our network engineers are aware of the problem..."