Journal article Open Access

Future proof optical network infrastructure for 5G transport

Paola Iovanna; Fabio Cavaliere; Francesco Testa; Stefano Stracca; Giulio Bottari; Filippo Ponzini; Alberto Bianchi; Roberto Sabella

The telecommunication community has reached a broad consensus that current RAN and underlying transport will not be able to scale up to the traffic volume and quality expected in 5G. Thus, it is mandatory to remove all the technological bottlenecks and operational rigidities to ensure a painless migration from the existing radio scenario to the 5G one.
This article presents a transport architecture able to serve as backhaul and fronthaul, to convey radio traffic on the same optical infrastructure. Cornerstones of the solution are: a novel photonic technology used to provide optical connectivity complemented with a dedicated agnostic framing; a deterministic switching module; a flexible control paradigm based on a layered scheme and on the slicing concept to facilitate optimal interaction of transport and radio resources while preserving a well-demarcated mutual independence.
Simulations and experiments are presented to demonstrate the aforementioned features.

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