Rural wireless operator ditches T1s for microwave backhaul plan

By Jessica Scarpati, News Writer
25 Feb 2010 |

By combining microwave backhaul systems with intelligent routing, a rural wireless GSM and WiMax operator expects to save millions in operating expenses by eliminating the 150 leased T1 lines that it uses to connect its cell sites.

“We have the opportunity to stop our op-ex from growing and actually reduce it, so I think it’s a smart business decision, and we’re making our network more resilient,” said Jake Brown, CTO of Hilbert Communications, a Green Bay, Wis.-based wireless operator that offers roaming network services throughout Wisconsin for about 30 carriers. “We’re able to completely get rid of the incremental cost to upgrade to 3G.”

Hilbert launched the microwave backhaul project — playfully dubbed “Operation Badger Sky” as a nod to the University of Wisconsin-Madison mascot, the badger — when it became evident that an all-T1 network could not support a transition from 2G to 3G and 4G, according to director of network design Kevin Kluge.

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