Verizon to use IAB as fibre alternative in 5G rollout

(Image credit: Verizon)

To rollout 5G, telecoms providers must ensure that the 5G network has the right infrastructure to sufficiently run and deal with the increased data. Verizon, like many others, has been focusing on building up fibre to support the 5G service.

However, the company is now looking to use a tool that allows it to expand its Verizon 5G reach without needing the additional fibre rollout. Instead, Verizon is looking at Integrated Access Backhaul (IAB) technology to deliver 5G, without the expensive fibre cabling.   

Wireless connections 

How is this possible? Well, IAB makes it possible to link a tower with fibre running to it with another tower that doesn’t, and all via wireless connections. This will mean that 5G wireless equipment installed on the non-connected tower is routed to the fibre-connected tower. This method is understandably much cheaper and flexible than having all towers fitted with fibre cables. 

According to the Light Reading blog, Verizon's Glenn Wellbrock, director of architecture, design and planning for Verizon's optical transport network, said that he expects to add IAB technology to Verizon’s deployment schedule next year. "It's a really powerful tool," Wellbrock said in a recent keynote presentation.

What does this mean? Verizon will be able to expand its 5G deployment to areas that harder to reach with fibre optic cables. Not only should it save money, but it’ll allow Verizon to make its 5G available to many more people, and quickly. 

Boosting its 5G footprint 

While fibre optic cables have been hailed as the best way to have an extremely fast connection, they require a lot of work and resources to install, and so it comes as no surprise that Verizon is looking to IAB to further bolster its cable provision. 

It’ll be interesting to see exactly how this approach works in practice, and it’s likely that we will see this model in play by late 2020.

Fiona Leake

Fiona discovered her love for investing and making money from a young age. Since then this interest has grown and now she loves writing about investing and business, and follows the 5G market closely. She is also a technology enthusiast, and so they tend to be her favourite investments.