AT&T, Verizon joined by younger players like Summit IG, Fatbeam and Axiom in dark fiber market

 Credit: pakorn at

Wireless carriers are clearly keen on the dark fiber opportunity. Carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon are using dark fiber to power their current macro base station backhaul, but are also looking at it for future small cell and C-RAN network deployments.

Verizon, for one, will immediately expand its dark fiber holdings when it completes its acquisition of XO Communications' fiber network. The telco noted in a FCC filing that 20 of XO's fiber areas are unlit, or "dark," with those areas having 79 percent unlit fiber on average, including up to 96 percent unlit in Dallas. Verizon will use these dark fiber facilities to simultaneously deepen its Ethernet reach into more buildings and to backhaul small cell wireless traffic.

But a big part of the dark fiber services opportunity is being driven by an emerging group of younger fiber-centric players like Summit IG, Fatbeam, Axiom, Cross River, Cleareon, Wilcon and USA Fiber, notes FierceTelecom in a new feature on the topic. Dark fiber demand is today being driven by new service drivers -- small cell backhaul, data center connectivity and the FCC's E-Rate program.

For a detailed look at the dark fiber market, click here.