Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Nokia Bell Labs demos ultra low latency 10G PON for fronthaul

Nokia has announced that as part of its work to better support mobile fronthaul and latency-sensitive services, Nokia Bell Labs has demonstrated a commercial next generation PON (NG-PON) transporting ultra-low latency CPRI streams over a single fibre connecting the baseband unit (BBU) and remote radio head (RRH).

The proof of concept demonstration was conducted in accordance with the latency budget requirements for the fronthaul of commercial radio equipment, showing that existing fibre networks can be used to transport mobile traffic and help accelerate the roll-out 5G.

Nokia noted that fronthaul comprises a key element of the C-RAN (centralised RAN) architecture in mobile networks, where the processing power is centralised away from cell sites. This model helps operators reduce the cost and power consumption of on-site installations, as well as simplifying cell cooperation schemes that help enhance network capacity and coverage.

In a C-RAN architecture, the legacy common public radio interfaces (CPRI) and certain next generation fronthaul interfaces require ultra-low latency transport, often in the sub-millisecond range, to meet the timing and synchronisation requirements of 4G and 5G technologies.

In the latest demonstration, Nokia Bell Labs validated that next generation PON technology, XGS-PON (10 Gbit/s symmetrical PON), can meet the strict timing constraints and deliver the capacity required, while also reducing the cost of mobile cell site transport. XGS-PON runs over existing fibre access networks and allows operators to use GPON platforms and technology to deliver high capacity services.

Nokia stated that this is a key capability for operators as they seek to address the challenge of supporting 'anyhaul' applications. By removing the need for a separate network, operators can use existing PON infrastructure in FTTH/B deployments to cost-effectively achieve the performance and coverage they require to handle the mobile transport demands resulting from densifying cell sites.

Nokia added that in addition to mobile transport applications, PONs are increasingly seen as an attractive option by operators seeking to support latency sensitive services and IoT applications such as manufacturing control and connected vehicles.

Nokia Bell Labs latest technology breakthrough will help mobile service providers as they move towards implementing 5G, and expands Nokia's Anyhaul mobile transport solutions as well as strengthening its portfolio of converged access networks for the delivery of fixed and mobile services. The company claims that to date it is involved in nine trials or commercial deployments of XGS-PON.

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