5 thoughts on “XO Goes (Fixed) Wireless”

  1. XO and their peers’ spectrum I don’t believe is very valuable. It is limited to short range LOS type links and one would assume that base stations must be “on net.” It would seem the companies with LMDS spectrum don’t have much if any metro fiber limiting the choices available for base stations. Further, in most cases these “on net” buildings are close to other buildings on fiber rings. From a value standpoint, licensed wireless cannot compete with fiber. Therefore, it would seem that buildings –and cell towers not served by fiber are the best market opportunity yet the vast majority of these sites aren’t going to be servicable. Additionally, from a cost standpoint the buildout for a typical MTU with redudant licensed wireless along with the internal riser system isn’t that much cheaper than a fiber build assuming the MTU isn’t that far away from an existing fiber ring. This is a decent assumption since the LOS range of LMDS is limited.

    There are good fixed wireless business models, but those tend to be based on microwave spectrum and WiMAX style technology.

  2. It is still the same old story, just a different time and place. I am not sure how much the technology has improved, and Matt I agree with you about the limited utility of all this spectrum owned by XO, FRNS and others.

  3. I think both of your assumptions are outdated and not informed. Om, have you even attempted to speak to XO about this and get detailed info? Probably not.

  4. Providing competative backhaul in the US is a tough business. The Bells, who have already spent the money and built the networks in the profitable places, can come in and undercut the competition any time they want. The only reason there is even potential for competition is the truly horrendous customer service the Bells provide — especially to their own wireless arms, ironically. There is money to be made by focusing on underserved geographies and things like secondary backhaul for disaster recovery, but probably not as much as investors in XO and FRNS would like.

    The real market for wireless backhaul is outside the US. Many countries have poor wired infrastructure and laying fiber is much more expensive if you can’t overlay existing transmission lines or roads (also often poor compared to the US). Without this existing infrastructure the economic case for wireless is much more compelling.

  5. FRNS actually got bought by Fibertower, not the otherway around. The merger release mentions a 51/49 split in favor of FiberTower.

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