Inland Cellular brings critical 4G broadband to rural areas using Intelsat CellBackhaul
(13 November 2020 - Intelsat) Intelsat and Inland Cellular, a regional mobile network operator (MNO) serving communities in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, are partnering to bring reliable 4G LTE broadband coverage to people in rural areas of Washington state.
Inland Cellular needed an efficient way to extend its high-performance service to customers no matter where they live, work or travel – particularly customers in rural areas and at remote construction, mining and camping sites. Intelsat CellBackhaul, an end-to-end managed service launched earlier this year, proved an ideal solution because it overcomes the technical, but mostly importantly, the economic challenges often associated with traditional, terrestrial backhaul deployments for rural coverage.
Intelsat CellBackhaul delivers a fully managed end-to-end cellular backhaul service that provides connectivity over Intelsat’s global network. The service includes on-site installation and maintenance of equipment, such as antennas and modems, and is available through a number of flexible service plans configured to meet differing MNO business needs.
“Our partnership with Intelsat helps increase our speed to market and more efficiently meet peak seasonal demand for connectivity in the areas we serve,” said Inland Cellular President Nathan Weis. “We are a small company that differentiates itself through exceptional customer service, so ensuring our subscribers can stay connected wherever they may go is of the utmost importance to us. With Intelsat CellBackhaul as part of our comprehensive network strategy, we can do just that.”
Today, 97% of the U.S. is considered rural, with low levels of population density, and large parts are still without 4G coverage, a need which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. While traditional terrestrial backhaul approaches work well for urban and suburban coverage, the business case for rural expansion breaks down when factoring in the high cost of building out fiber or microwave, the deployment of which also takes a lot of time, disruption and planning.
Intelsat CellBackhaul is uniquely positioned to enable MNOs of any size to quickly and economically backhaul high-quality, reliable mobile broadband coverage in rural, low-population density regions, and hard-to-reach areas of the U.S.
“That’s precisely why we launched Intelsat CellBackhaul, so mobile operators like Inland Cellular, who serve large rural areas, can quickly and efficiently expand their coverage to travelers, vacationers, rural businesses, tourist operations and IoT integrators — ultimately connecting more people and places,” said Intelsat Regional Vice President of North America Tim Schermerhorn. “We look forward to a long and productive partnership with Inland Cellular, helping them grow their business by expanding their coverage beyond the limits of terrestrial backhaul.”
On the Inland Cellular deployment, Intelsat partnered with U.S.-based equipment providers Comtech EF Data and Trilogy Networks.
As the foundational architects of satellite technology, Intelsat operates the world’s largest and most advanced satellite fleet and connectivity infrastructure. We apply our unparalleled expertise and global scale to connect people, businesses, and communities, no matter how difficult the challenge. Intelsat is uniquely positioned to help our customers turn possibilities into reality – transformation happens when businesses, governments, and communities use Intelsat's next-generation global network and managed services to build their connected future.
About Inland Cellular
Inland Cellular LLC, doing business as Inland Cellular and Emerge Technologies, has been providing wireless technology communications services since 1989. Inland Cellular provides mobile voice, messaging and data service, fixed wireless, and fiber to the premises, as well as services such as VoIP for business, fleet management, surveillance cameras, and other small business services in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. Inland Cellular has over 120 employees, and our staff has expertise in every aspect of providing fixed wireless internet service, including 160 towers, tower construction, and maintenance; licensed tower climbers; microwave and fiber backhaul; routing and network security; customer premises installation; radio frequency testing and troubleshooting; customer technical support; customer billing and service; and, project management. Inland Cellular’s coverage area for mobile service is expanding, and currently includes 18 counties.
About Comtech EF Data
Comtech EF Data is providing its high performance and high availability Heights Networking Platform including Remote Gateways at Inland Cellular cell sites. Cellular backhaul over Heights provides the industry’s lowest latency and jitter enabling a terrestrial, fiber-like look and feel for end users and superior Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for MNOs.
Trilogy is an established leader in the emerging Edge Compute ecosystem with the deployment of Metro, Regional, and On-Premise Cloud installations across the United States. Trilogy recently founded the Rural Cloud Initiative, a coalition of network operators and technology providers committed to promoting and accelerating the digital transformation of rural America. In conjunction with network operators and edge innovation partners, Trilogy is utilizing its LinX™ virtual private network and ConEx infrastructure platform to build a unified, distributed multi-tenant cloud capability on a single network fabric to provide 1.5 million square miles of edge compute capability across rural America, delivering the essential infrastructure for 5G, agriculture, and energy solutions.