A recent blog post by David Mayo, T-Mobile USA’s senior vice president of technology strategy, finance and development, detailed the carrier’s 4G backhaul strategy. Backhaul is what runs a mobile network’s Internet connection to its cell sites.
Claiming that any 4G network is only as good as its backhaul system, Mayo states that if “enhanced backhaul capacity isn’t available, the customer experience suffers.”
T-Mobile began making enhancement to its backhaul in 2007. These network upgrades cover 100 percent of the carrier’s 4G network, 95 percent of which is now fiber backhaul. Mayo claims that these strategic measures will prove vital when T-Mobile starts rolling out LTE in 2013.
“Because we’ve already upgraded to fiber backhaul on over 32,000 cell sites, the transition to LTE will be a much faster process, enabling us to rapidly deploy LTE in 2013. In contrast, some of our competitors continue to use T1s at cell sites for backhaul which provide a slower connection to the Internet.”
It’s good to see that T-Mobile has taken the necessary steps in preparing its network for LTE. However, as top carriers such as Verizon and AT&T continue to aggressively deploy LTE in multiple markets, T-Mobile will need all of the advantages that it can get, when trying to catch up next year.