Wednesday, February 10, 2016

BT Trials Cloud RAN Fronthaul over G.fast

BT is testing G.fast technology to deliver a ‘Cloud Radio Access Network’ (C-RAN) cellular network service over copper, in an experiment believed to be a world first.

Researchers at BT’s Adastral Park Labs, in collaboration with Cavium, have demonstrated that they can use G.fast technology to deliver cellular data over copper lines at speeds of 150 – 200Mbps.

BT said the conventional view has been that fiber would be required in C-RAN architecture for connecting cellular base stations to a central facility in the core network. This approach uses G.fast over copper for the fronthaul connection.

Dr Tim Whitley, MD for Research & Innovation at BT said: “Using G.fast to deliver a cellular network is an exciting breakthrough for C-RAN and yet another world first for our team of researchers at Adastral Park.

“These technologies will play a key role in 4G networks and will be fundamental to 5G architectures. The trials are another step towards a fixed and mobile network which will support customers’ increasing demands for data.”

“We are very excited to collaborate with BT, using Cavium OCTEON Fusion-M basestation and ThunderX server processor technology to validate this new class of Radio Access application with G.fast technology.” said Raj Singh, General Manager of Cavium’s Wireless Broadband Group.

As well as exploring the role that G.fast may play in helping operators to roll out their 4G/5G networks, Openreach, BT’s local access network division, is also trialling G.fast as an access technology in Huntingdon and Gosforth, alongside a further BT technical trial in Swansea. G.fast is significant because by building on current Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology, it allows Openreach to bring ultrafast speeds to a wide footprint far more rapidly and without the expense and disruption of running fibre directly into a home or business.

http://www.btplc.com/news/#/pressreleases/bt-trials-cloud-ran-over-g-fast-in-step-towards-5g-1312992

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