Nokia shows use of 10G PON for mobile fronthaul

nokia-at-mwc-2016Nokia Bell Labs has conducted a demo showing how telecoms can use existing fiber networks to efficiently transport mobile traffic and help accelerate 5G.

Use of a next generation PON (NG-PON) to transport ultra-low latency CPRI streams via a standard single fiber running between the Baseband Unit (BBU) and the Remote Radio Head (RRH) will be cost efficient as well, said Nokia Bell Labs.

One of the essential elements of C-RAN (Centralized Radio Access Network) architecture in mobile networks is fronthaul. C-RAN offers benefits because telecoms can centralize processing power and move away from the cell sites.

Operators can reduce the cost and power consumption of their on-site installations and enhance mobile network capacity and coverage. The Common Public Radio Interfaces (CPRI) and some of the fronthaul interfaces require ultra-low latency transport – often in the sub-millisecond range – to meet the strict timing and synchronization requirements of 4G and 5G technologies.

Nokia Bell Labs said it validated that the use of XGS-PON technology would satisfy these strict timing constraints and deliver the capacity while reducing the cost of mobile cell site transport. XGS-PON runs on existing fiber access networks and allows operators to use GPON platforms and technology to deliver high capacity services.

This is important for operators who need to support anyhaul applications. Operators can use existing passive optical networks used in Fiber-to-the-home or Building (FTTH/FTTB) deployments to quickly and cost-effectively gain the performance and coverage they require to handle the mobile transport of their densifying cell sites.

“This shows for the first time how a PON network can be used to support  high capacity, low latency applications. It demonstrates the flexibility of PON to support traditional CPRI and evolving mobile specifications, such as fronthaul over simpler native Ethernets, and validates the readiness of PON for the 5G era,” said Peter Vetter, head of Access Research at Nokia Bell Labs.

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