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1 50 Years of Growth, Innovation and Leadership Small Cell Technologies: The Evolution of Wireless Provider Solutions A Frost & Sullivan White Paper

2 Frost & Sullivan Executive Overview... 3 Industry Challenges: Overview of Mobile & Wireless Data Consumption Trends... 3 Mobile Device Composition... 3 Evolution of Mobile Device Capabilities... 4 Faster Wireless Networks... 4 Traditional Capacity Expansion Problems... 4 Industry Solutions: How Can Wireless Carriers Alleviate Network Constraints?... 4 Small Cell Backhaul Solutions... 4 Enhanced Next Generation Wireless Infrastructure... 5 The Fairpoint Advantage... 5 History... 5 Network... 6 Products... 6 Expertise... 7 The Last Word: Summary & Conclusions... 8 CONTENTS

3 Small Cell Technologies: The Evolution of Wireless Provider Solutions EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW Wireless carriers have had, and will continue to need, backhaul services in order to connect their cell site locations back to the Mobile Telephone Switching Offices (MTSOs). Historically, this has been accomplished by using traditional connectivity services like Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) DS1 and DS3. As smartphones and tablets have begun taking over and forever changing the landscape of the mobile world, new and more flexible connectivity options are required in order to support 3G and 4G/LTE services. Carrier Ethernet Services have now supplanted TDM services as the backhaul technology of choice. As the competitive environment intensifies, fast connectivity, enhanced network performance, and viable data offload strategies will be critical for mobile operators success. The big question becomes, who provides these solutions? INDUSTRY CHALLENGES: OVERVIEW OF MOBILE & WIRELESS DATA CONSUMPTION TRENDS As smartphones and tablets have begun taking over and forever changing the landscape of the mobile world, new and more flexible connectivity options are required in order to support 3G and 4G/ LTE services. Mobile Device Composition Mobile devices have evolved rapidly since the release of the original iphone in Prior to that release, the majority of mobile devices available were either feature phones with little data capabilities, or legacy smartphones that did not consume anywhere near the data consumption trends that are seen in the market today. In 2012, however, the market looks completely different. Smartphones have surpassed feature phones as the dominant device, and tablets have become a top seller, causing mobile operators to tailor their service plans to stimulate growth of connected tablets. Furthermore, mobile-to-mobile devices have become more common for enterprises and promise to play a major role in the future of the mobile space. Needless to say, as these mobile devices continue to evolve and play larger roles in the mobile space, this new composition will lead to a staggering increase in mobile data consumption. The figure below illustrates the forecasted overall growth of mobile data consumption amongst U.S. Tier I mobile operators from 2009 to Yearly Data Consumption for Tier-1 Mobile Operators ( ) Yearly Data Consumption (Petabytes- PB) 6, , , , , , Feature Phones Smartphones Laptops & Emerging Devices Source: Frost & Sullivan analysis Frost.com 3

4 Frost & Sullivan Evolution of Mobile Device Capabilities As these devices continue to evolve and utilize the cloud for wirelessly syncing and accessing content, data consumption will continue to rise. In 2007, the iphone had a CPU speed of 412 MHz, 4GB of storage, a smaller touchscreen, and no multitasking capabilities. Today s devices, on the other hand, are coming with 1.5+ GHz quad-core processors, 64GB of storage, multitasking capabilities, cloud sync technology, 5-inch or larger enhanced screens, and support for sophisticated multimedia applications. All of these capabilities combine to create perfect devices for consuming large amounts of bandwidth. The end result is that as these devices continue to evolve and utilize the cloud for wirelessly syncing and accessing content, data consumption will continue to rise. Faster Wireless Networks One of the limiting factors in data speeds has been the networks themselves. Since EDGE and then 3G networks, data speeds have been slowly evolving. With the deployment of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks, data speeds are finally reaching levels that enable the use of services like video on demand (VOD), video conferencing, media streaming, etc. As a result, the faster networks are enabling more users to utilize these features in their everyday mobile lives. This, in turn, creates more of a demand for network infrastructure to support the wireless access technology. Simply put, without the backhaul to support LTE, the faster access standard does nothing to allow these new services for consumers. Traditional Capacity Expansion Problems Based on the current trends, mobile data traffic will continue to grow exponentially and will not be met by traditional network growth. Wireless offload strategies will play a critical role for carriers, even after the full migration to LTE. Network analysts will also need to look for ways to rapidly augment their backhaul data pipes as well as design new ways to continue to offload network traffic. Either way, the fact remains that traditional capacity expansion is not enough to support the rapid growth of data consumption in the market today. While availability and cost to extend backhaul infrastructure will play important roles in the selection of some sites, the benefits achievable by small cell integration are largely contingent on the MNOs backhaul strategy. INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS: HOW CAN WIRELESS CARRIERS ALLEVIATE NETWORK CONSTRAINTS? Small Cell Solutions Small cells have not been widely integrated into a mobile network environment due to the difficulty and effort required to manage numerous cell locations, a wide range of equipment, and various backhaul technologies with a mix of guaranteed and best-effort QoS. However, with the Mobile Network Operator s (MNO) focus on handling handoff and interference issues in early deployments, initial small cell sites will likely be screened for high-quality cell backhaul options, since the better the small cell backhaul (latency and capacity), the tighter the cell coordination and lower interference. While availability and cost to extend backhaul infrastructure will play important roles in the selection of some sites, the benefits achievable by small cell integration are largely contingent on the MNOs backhaul strategy. For example, if improved coverage and capacity are the primary goals, the small cell backhaul performance and quality of service should be equal to macrocell backhaul for seamless end-to-end QoS. However, if only data offloading is the goal, the small cell backhaul could be almost any type of connection and performance level even a lower quality than the macrocell backhaul. 4 Frost.com

5 Small Cell Technologies: The Evolution of Wireless Provider Solutions The small cell backhaul capacity and QoS also have a significant effect on the architecture and types of small cell technology used. Deploying a high-capacity, low-latency backhaul option, such as fiber-based Ethernet, allows deployment of Remote Radio Units (RRU) and Distributed Antenna System (DAS). Otherwise, picocells or microcells need to be deployed with either dedicated backhaul to the core network or backhaul offloaded onto the Internet. Longer-term planning will likely have to incorporate extension of infrastructure to provide the necessary backhaul performance, latency, scalability and QoS at specific high-demand locations to avoid becoming a bottleneck. Enhanced Next-Generation Wireless Infrastructure As 4G/LTE networks become the norm, enhanced next-generation wireless infrastructure will become more and more important. As a result, mobile service providers are changing their infrastructures by investing in higher bandwidth tower connections, new base stations, and entirely new backhaul solutions. IP packet-based networks are replacing circuit-switched networks in order for services to continue to be more flexible for provisioning and maintaining, as well as more cost-effective. Layer 2 Carrier Ethernet Service is evolving as one of the key technologies being utilized in transforming the overall infrastructure, which allows for support for 2G/3G services, as well as newer 4G/LTE services. Furthermore, the next generation of wireless infrastructure must provide and/or support the following: Quality of Experience (QoE), Service-Level Agreements (SLAs), and rapid augmentation capabilities of bandwidth as needed. This deep network coverage uniquely positions FairPoint to be the backhaul carrier that can provide the wireless carriers with virtually one-stop shopping in northern New England. Frost & Sullivan has identified FairPoint Communications, a regional Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) in northern New England, as a best practices example of utilizing its Carrier Ethernet Network and other broadband services to create wireless backhaul solutions for MNOs. THE FAIRPOINT ADVANTAGE HISTORY FairPoint was formed in 1991 and began to acquire small rural telecommunication companies. Its first purchase in 1993 was Sunflower Telephone, a small independent telephone company headquartered in Dodge City, Kansas. Over the next 14 years, FairPoint acquired a number of small rural local exchange companies (RLECs) and by 2007 had operations in 18 different states with more than 300,000 access line equivalents. In 2007, FairPoint announced its plans to purchase the landline assets of Verizon Communications in the states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. With its existing RLEC assets in these three states, FairPoint was the primary local exchange carrier for approximately 10.5 percent of the business addresses located there. With the close of the purchase of Verizon assets in 2008, FairPoint gained coverage to an additional 86 percent of the business addresses. This made FairPoint the primary/incumbent local exchange carrier for more than 96 percent of the business addresses in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Frost.com 5

6 Frost & Sullivan FairPoint uses its next-generation network to power low-, medium-, and high-speed products that form the basis of its small cell backhaul transport solution. This deep network coverage uniquely positions FairPoint to be the backhaul carrier that can provide the wireless carriers with virtually one-stop shopping in northern New England. Today, FairPoint s business supports approximately $1 billion in annual revenue, operations in 17 states and more than 3,000 employees. FairPoint operates 31 local exchange companies, which operate as the ILEC in each of their respective markets. These ILECs are the predominant providers of wire line service throughout the country and have a rich history of service quality and infrastructure development. FairPoint recently ranked as the sixth-largest phone company in the country and offers the most comprehensive, robust network in northern New England. Since April 2008, FairPoint has invested more than $190 million in the communications infrastructure and technology to expand broadband, including building more than 3,100 miles of new fiber across northern New England. FairPoint s aggressive and unprecedented push for high-speed Internet was financed solely by the company and helped expand broadband availability to more than 90 percent of the addresses in the markets it serves. NETWORK FairPoint obtained significant network assets when it purchased the Verizon Communications assets. Those assets included a large SONET-based infrastructure as well as an ATM-over- SONET-based DSL network. FairPoint added to this by installing a state-of-the-art MPLSbased Carrier Ethernet Network. This next-generation network features Cisco Carrier Routing System (CRS-1) routers at its core with diverse 10 gigabit links for full network diversity and failover, and edge routers in its central offices that include the Cisco Aggregation Services Routers (ASR9000), multiservice services edge (MSE) 7600 series routers, and Cisco Multifunction Platform (3600) routers; and Adtran Total Access TA5000 routers that support both fiber and copper access. FairPoint connects it all together with fiber and a fully meshed architecture that delivers percent service availability in the network. Since 2008, FairPoint has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in its next-generation MPLSbased Carrier Ethernet Network. This is the largest such network in northern New England, with more than 15,000 fiber route miles, and more than 80 percent of the FairPoint central offices with Carrier Ethernet Services equipment and capability. PRODUCTS FairPoint uses its next-generation network to power low-, medium-, and high-speed products that form the basis of its small cell backhaul transport solution. For low-speed solution requirements that require reliable, dedicated, low-cost transport using an Internet connection, FairPoint uses it Digital Subscriber Loop (DSL) technologies to create a low-speed small cell solution. With asymmetric speeds that range from 768k downstream/128k upstream to 15 Mbps downstream/1 Mbps upstream, and coverage that now covers more than 90 percent of its addressable market, FairPoint has the products and reach to fill the market need for a low-speed backhaul solution. For carriers that require medium- and high-speed small cell backhaul transport solutions using symmetric speeds, FairPoint uses various Carrier Ethernet products to meet speed and SLA requirements. Its mid-speed solution provides carriers requiring reliable, dedicated, Internet- 6 Frost.com

7 Small Cell Technologies: The Evolution of Wireless Provider Solutions based transport using its next-generation Ethernet network, along with a dedicated Internet access arrangement. Available symmetric speeds range from 5 Mbps to 100 Mbps and use both copper (EoC) and fiber access methods. FairPoint s high-speed solution utilizes E-Line Carrier Ethernet Services (EPL and EVPL) and provides carriers requiring dedicated Ethernet connections to a network aggregation point or directly to their Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO) a backhaul option that includes robust SLAs. EXPERTISE Wireless Backhaul and Connectivity Experts FairPoint has significant expertise and a proven track record in providing wireless backhaul solutions to its customers. FairPoint has significant expertise and a proven track record in providing wireless backhaul solutions to its customers. As part of the former Verizon (New England Telephone) company, FairPoint employees have had decades of experience with wireless tower backhaul and overall connectivity from TDM special access services to the current Carrier Ethernet Services. Since early 2011, FairPoint has developed strong experience in Fiber to the Tower (FTTT) macro-tower builds, with more than 950 tower fiber builds with 100 percent on-time delivery. Rural Areas are What FairPoint Does Best FairPoint boasts rural territory specialists across all of its markets, with special focus on Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. With more than 15,000 route miles of fiber across northern New England, coupled with its copper plant, FairPoint has a ubiquitous reach to more than 95 percent of the business addresses to provide carriers with one-stop shopping for Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Upgraded Network Infrastructure and Capacity FairPoint s next-generation network infrastructure is built on a 400G Optical Layer 1 Transport with Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM), reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM) nodes located in 98 offices, and an IP/MPLS core with Ethernet aggregation switched rings. The network edge features multi-service access nodes for Ethernet delivery over fiber, G.SHDSL and TDM. Ability to Span from Small to Large Tower Connectivity Needs FairPoint has extensive access capability and coverage in place to serve small cell backhaul needs via copper or fiber. As the ILEC, FairPoint is well-positioned with its network reach and diverse product set to serve small and macro-tower connectivity needs. Its strong local presence and expertise includes more than 1,100 engineers and field technicians housed in 32 in-territory garages backed by a 24x7 network operating center to provide solid in-region technical support. Wireless carriers will be looking to locate their small cell transmitters in non-traditional locations, such as on telephone poles, billboards, and the sides of buildings. These locations will pose challenges that the wireless carriers may not have dealt with before in the areas of obtaining rights-of-way and pole attachments. FairPoint s outside plant engineers have a long Frost.com 7

8 Frost & Sullivan The successful mobile operators over the coming years will no doubt be the companies who embrace the need to modernize their networks, utilize small cell solutions, and implement better and more manageable backhaul solutions. history of dealing with these issues on a daily basis. FairPoint is a co-owner or co-user (with the electric utility) on all of the telephone poles in its territory. It has the experience, along with defined processes and rates, for the carriers looking to attach small cell antennae and supporting electronics on its telephone poles. Small Cell Backhaul the FairPoint Advantage In this paper, we have examined how the evolution of the wireless network technologies such as 4G/LTE, coupled with the proliferation of smart phones and tablet devices, has fueled and unprecedented demand for wireless capacity. For the wireless carriers, small cell solutions will help them boost network capacity and reach, while doing so in the most cost-effective manner possible. The challenges they face will include obtaining a dependable, qualified, and flexible backhaul service provider that can supply the needed backhaul services that meet service requirements at a reasonable cost. The provider must have a service delivery process that is proven and dependable, and also have the flexibility to terminate its backhaul services in a variety of non-traditional locations, such as telephone poles, billboards, and sides of buildings. These locations may pose right-of-way challenges and many may lack a specific street address and need E-911 address qualification. The service provider that the wireless carriers choose for their small cell transport needs must have the people, products, processes and flexibility to meet all of these challenges. Frost & Sullivan believes that FairPoint Communications, with its people, network, products, expertise and proven track record in macro-tower builds, is uniquely positioned to serve wireless carriers needs in northern New England. THE LAST WORD: SUMMARY & CONCLUSIONS There is no doubt that mobile operators have reached a point of change in both the way they operate and how they manage their networks. That change is based around the simple evolution of mobile data and the need for 4G/LTE speeds for consumers to receive their content with the touch of an icon. The successful mobile operators over the coming years will no doubt be the companies who embrace the need to modernize their networks, utilize small cell solutions, and implement better and more manageable backhaul solutions. For those mobile operators who are looking forward, FairPoint Communications provides a one-stop shop to support their backhaul and connectivity needs. 8 Frost.com

9 Silicon Valley 331 E. Evelyn Ave. Suite 100 Mountain View, CA Tel Fax San Antonio 7550 West Interstate 10, Suite 400, San Antonio, Texas Tel Fax London 4, Grosvenor Gardens, London SWIW ODH,UK Tel 44(0) Fax 44(0) GoFrost ABOUT FROST & SULLIVAN Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today s market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the Global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies? Contact Us: Start the Discussion For information regarding permission, write: Frost & Sullivan 331 E. Evelyn Ave. Suite 100 Mountain View, CA Auckland Bahrain Bangkok Beijing Bengaluru Bogotá Buenos Aires Cape Town Chennai Colombo Delhi / NCR Detroit Dubai Frankfurt Iskander Malaysia/Johor Bahru Istanbul Jakarta Kolkata Kuala Lumpur London Manhattan Mexico City Miami Milan Mumbai Moscow Oxford Paris Pune Rockville Centre San Antonio São Paulo Seoul Shanghai Shenzhen Silicon Valley Singapore Sophia Antipolis Sydney Taipei Tel Aviv Tokyo Toronto Warsaw Washington, DC

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