Time Warner Cable is pitching to carriers such as AT&T and Verizon, a service that uses its underground cables to carry mobile calls and data traffic. The aim is to alleviate the network strain that smartphones (particularly the iPhone) are placing on the network. Remember, for every 1 iPhone, you can run 4 BlackBerrys on a typical network so it’s clear who is to blame.
The service is known as wireless backhaul, and has become Time Warner Cable’s fastest-growing business. Rather than have calls and data broadcasted over radio waves and routed using cell towers, the backhaul system pulls the signal from the antenna into the carrier’s wired network. Lines can be added to the backhaul pipes in order to mitigate the loads.
Backhaul isn’t necessarily a solution, but more of a temporary fix. There are still issues as the signal is sent over radio tower to tower, and carriers are still urging the FCC to allocate more airwaves to address this issue. Another solution will be to upgrade the networks to LTE. This will allow the networks to handle a greater load, and future proof our smartphones against failure due to infrastructure.