CENX to supply 4G LTE wireless backhaul to LightSquared

CENX to supply 4G LTE wireless backhaul to LightSquared

Ethernet exchange operator CENX is to provide a 4G LTE wireless backhaul platform to support LightSquared’s deployment of a 4G LTE wireless broadband network across the US.

CENX hopes its OSS platform will support LightSquared’s bandwidth requirements helping to drive the lowest cost per bit and leading to higher profitability.

Ethernet backhaul can integrate multiple access providers across a region, offer a path to a multi-class of service and support systems for monitoring backhaul and SLAs that are Ethernet ready. As well as offering operational simplicity, CENX claims 4G LTE backhaul will deliver savings of up to 30%.

CENX president Nan Chen described this as a “very significant move” for the company: “Ethernet expertise is paramount to delivering efficient backhaul and integrating all the access providers together,” he said.

“This really builds on the exchange platform we already have. As a nationwide operator, LightSquared will be a big proving point for us to really deliver our values to the wireless operators.”

CENX has been engaged in discussions with LightSquared for a year and is now in the process of executing the move.

The agreement with CENX is likely to help Lightsquared with its ambitious plans to construct a 4G LTE network that will provide coverage to 92% of the US by 2015. The network hopes to combine satellite technology and a ground-based wireless communications network, both using the same 1.5 to 1.6GHz L-band radio spectrum, with the aim of providing terrestrial wireless coverage to at least 100 million people by the end of 2012, to 145 million people by the end of 2013, and to 260 million people by the end of 2015.

“Our decision to work with CENX was based on their unparalleled expertise in Carrier Ethernet and its exchange services,” said LightSquared chief network officer Doug Smith.

A regulatory battle between LightSquared and the Global Positioning System (GPS) industry is, however, ongoing. The L-band spectrum it proposes to use for LTE is immediately adjacent to the 1559-1610MHz spectrum band used for the signals between GPS satellites and GPS receivers, which include aviation, cellular, general location and navigation, high precision, networks, space-based receivers and GPS timing receivers. There was concern that high-powered signals from LightSquared’s ground-based transmitters would overpower the comparatively weak GPS signal from space. For a full depth analysis click here.