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Progress Takes to the Air

With content and data services growing in popularity, wireless operators are feeling the heat to carry higher volumes of traffic with competitive quality of service. To aid the effort, Progress Telecom LLC has hatched PT Wireless Inc., a technology-agnostic network provider aimed at helping wireless carriers expand their capacity cost-effectively.


PT Wireless is offering a neutral hosting model with digital distributed antenna systems from an as-yet-unnamed vendor. The antennae are mounted on existing utility infrastructure such as light posts and electric poles, and support any flavor of spectrum be it CDMA or GSM to add capacity to an existing network. A Wi-Fi or WiMAX access point also can be added to the cell site. Also, the fledgling outsourcer provides fiber backhaul to switching centers on its own network in the Southeast and via national carrier relationships. PT Wireless expects to announce hardware, utility, backhaul and NOC services partners within the quarter.


The cell equipment, access to utility assets, backhaul and 24-by-seven monitoring in the PT Wireless network operations center is a combination that Peter Neill, president of the new company, says is bound to have wings.


Operators may be covered from an RF perspective in a market, but added data, content and voice demands have driven them to cell-splitting on their towers to support it all, he says. “By bringing together the right-of-way relationships, DAS technology and the NOC, we can offer an innovative solution for expanding capacity at a much lower unit cost than that of the traditional infrastructure approach.


PT Wireless is approaching wireless operators, and also cities and municipalities with the solution. Local government can provide a solution for themselves as well as Wi-Fi or WiMAX on the same infrastructure, says Neill. We see RF as RF, regardless of type, and were simply transmitting traffic to the fiber networks.


The company will charge customers and upfront capital contribution along with a capacity and size-dependent recurring management fee for the service, which initially is available in the Progress Telecom footprint in the Southeast.


For many years, Progress Telecom has provided both fiber-based broadband transport services and tower attachments to all of the largest wireless companies in the United States, says Ron Mudry, CEO of Progress Telecom. PT Wireless will help us provide a more complete, end-to-end solution to these customers.



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