SAN FRANCISCO, April 21. FiberTower Corporation and MetroPCS Communications, Inc., announced today that they have entered into an agreement for FiberTower to provide Ethernet-based backhaul services in select MetroPCS markets. The evolution to Ethernet for network backhaul helps prepare MetroPCS for its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network launch that is planned during the second half of 2010.
Using FiberTower's unique back-haul solution, which includes fiber-based Ethernet services to cell sites and microwave extensions for maximum coverage, MetroPCS will have the ability to efficiently scale capacity from five megabits per second (Mbps) to as much as one gigabit per second (Gbps) per site as its backhaul needs evolve over time. FiberTower has been providing MetroPCS with backhaul solutions in several MetroPCS markets since late 2005.
"MetroPCS and FiberTower have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship, and we are pleased that MetroPCS has expanded our partnership to prepare for its LTE launch," said Kurt Van Wagenen, FiberTower's president and chief executive officer. "FiberTower can deliver on MetroPCS' unique needs as the carrier enhances its network architecture over the course of the next few years. We have a history of leading wireless backhaul innovation with our deployment of Ethernet-based backhaul solutions that enable wireless carriers to efficiently optimize their networks for broadband service delivery. Looking ahead, we are excited about the LTE opportunity."
"Our plan to provide customers with an enhanced mobile experience through the services available on a 4G network requires a robust backhaul solution that is capable of operating efficiently with increased network traffic inherent on a LTE network," said Roger Linquist, president and chief executive officer of MetroPCS. "FiberTower is able to provide us with a necessary piece of that solution as we move toward the launch of the United States' first LTE wireless network featuring smartphones in the second half of this year."