West Texas 4G LTE Wireless Super Regional Fiber Optic Backhaul Network

Abilene, Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland, Odessa, and San Angelo, Texas

West-Texas-4G-LTE-Wireless-Fiber-Field-DesignAmong the nation’s leading providers of high performance fiber optics, FiberLight LLC worked with KCI to design and build a dedicated wireless backhaul network to support 4G LTE expansion for a leading wireless carrier. Serving an area greater than 20,000 square miles and connecting 277 existing cellular towers, it was the largest and most aggressive telecommunications project in the history of both organizations.

The team began the project utilizing a standard approach for dark fiber build-outs, but shortly realized a course adjustment was needed for this tower-to-tower ring. FiberLight asked KCI to take on more responsibility, serving as a project, program, construction, and inventory manager as well as designer. Challenges included an aggressive schedule driven by regional pre-sales of 4G phones, geography that ranged from the tallest mountain in Texas to the second largest canyon in the country, and isolated tower locations that required coordination with multiple land owners to secure access and right-of-way.

By developing the GIS, there were so many levels of savings—not only over the initial cost of paper versus digital, but being able to track the project downstream—that can be applied successfully to other projects.

Neil D. Tolentino, RECE, CWNASenior Design Technician

Neil D. Tolentino, RECE, CWNA

The firm developed a GIS-based project management tool which gathered and used real-time data to manage and track engineering, construction, inventory and inspection on a daily basis. With 40 construction crews working throughout the region, the team averaged 50 miles per week, placing more than 4,000 route miles of new plant. With the ring fully deployed, nearly one million residents living in West Texas now have access to broadband.