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The cost competitiveness of fiber-optic backbone infrastructures for mobile communication networks is investigated with respect to installation, operation, administration, and maintenance. Fiber-optic star, tree, and ring infrastructures are evaluated and compared to twisted copper pair star and microwave radio tree infrastructures. It is shown that today, fiber-optic solutions are, in general, more expensive than both twisted copper pair and microwave radio solutions. However, the optimum infrastructure depends on the specific network scenario, and fiber optics show potential for large mobile networks with small cells.