A 5G-COMPLETE publication entitled “Advanced optical access technologies for next-generation (5G) mobile networks” and written by Jim (Shihuan) Zou, Silviu Adrian Sasu, Mirko Lawin, Annika Dochhan, Jörg-Peter Elbers, Michael Eiselt is online.
According to the article, fixed optical transport is the predominant fronthaul technology for 4G mobile access networks, carrying the traffic between the central office and subtended antenna sites. With the new functional splits and related standards introduced in 5G, new capacity and quality-of-service requirements are imposed on optical transport. In this paper, the authors discuss low-cost high-capacity optical fronthaul solutions enabled by advanced modulation formats and wavelength-agnostic passive wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology. As the key component, a low-cost remotely tunable WDM transceiver is introduced, specifically designed on a hybrid InP-polymer platform. We also explain why an Ethernet-based 5G fronthaul solution requires additional means to improve the latency and timing performance of the conventional packet forwarding and multiplexing. The authors review the recent standardization effort on time-sensitive networking in support of 5G fronthaul and present an FPGA-based implementation providing low latency and low packet delay variation following the latest IEEE 802.1CM specification. These advanced technologies can facilitate an effective packet-optical transport for 5G.
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