Story 2014-11-05 2TX2 The future of cable internet services may be as backhaul for cellular...

The future of cable internet services may be as backhaul for cellular...

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in internet on (#2TX2)
Those cell towers that provide the high-speed connections to your phone, themselves have to rely on land lines for "backhaul", to connect them to the core of the wireless provider's network. Enter cable companies, who often times provide that backhaul to smaller communications towers — Time Warner Cable serves more than 10,000 cell towers. In the case of small cells, cable companies are in some cases able to leverage their fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) investments as high-speed backhaul for small cells instead of requiring the much more costly option of running new dedicated lines to the site. Cable companies are largely only involved in providing the backhaul, but about 15% of cable providers are also considering entering the business of offering small-cells-as-a-service, themselves. If you count Wi-Fi as a small cell, the cable industry is already quite familiar with and deeply invested in the business.

Metro cells, which are supposed to cover up to two kilometers in area and up to around 2,000 users, are the most likely candidates for FTTH backhaul. Smaller cells closer to subscribers offer the possibility of higher speeds using less power and better utilization of scarce radio spectrum. In essence, “small cells end up being a subscriber on the network,” Vaughn said. He went on to describe several deployments: an AT&T trial in St. Louis, Mo., where small cells were deployed on utility poles fairly low to the ground, at about head-height; and a Vodafone deployment in Spain where fiber had already been deployed along the street and the equipment had a very small footprint.
Reply 4 comments

Two Kilometers in Area? (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-11-06 16:37 (#2TXT)

I believe kilometers are a measure of distance, not area.

Re: Two Kilometers in Area? (Score: 1)

by tanuki64@pipedot.org on 2014-11-06 17:54 (#2TXY)

Kilometers are a measure of distance. But could 'two kilometers in area' mean the same as square kilometers? My English is by far not good enough, to decide this. :-)

Re: Two Kilometers in Area? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org on 2014-11-06 19:35 (#2TY2)

I don't know exactly what TFA means by that, so I can't correct it.

Obviously two SQUARE kilometers would be a measurement of area. But when talking about broadcasting, measurements are generally made as the radius from the antenna, which could be a considerably different area.

Re: Two Kilometers in Area? (Score: 1)

by entropy@pipedot.org on 2014-11-07 15:08 (#2TYB)

I'm guessing it's specified as a radius. So 2km from the broadcast tower in a 360 degree pattern.