IF-over-Fiber Technology Aiming at Efficient Bandwidth Utilization and Perfect Centralized Control for Next-Generation Mobile Fronthaul Links in C-RAN Architectures

Shota ISHIMURA  Byung-Gon KIM  Kazuki TANAKA  Shinobu NANBA  Kosuke NISHIMURA  Hoon KIM  Yun C. CHUNG  Masatoshi SUZUKI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E101-B   No.4   pp.952-960
Publication Date: 2018/04/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.2017OAI0002
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Section on Optical Access System for Social Life)
centralized RAN (C-RAN),  mobile fronthaul,  functional split,  IF-over-fiber,  dispersion-induced RF power fading,  

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The intermediate frequency-over-fiber (IFoF) technology has attracted attention as an alternative transmission scheme to the functional split for the next-generation mobile fronthaul links due to its high spectral efficiency and perfect centralized control ability. In this paper, we discuss and clarify network architectures suited for IFoF, based on its advantages over the functional split. One of the major problems for IFoF transmission is dispersion-induced RF power fading, which limits capacity and transmission distance. We introduce our previous work, in which high-capacity and long-distance IFoF transmission was demonstrated by utilizing a parallel intensity/phase modulators (IM/PM) transmitter which can effectively avoid the fading. The IFoF technology with the proposed scheme is well suited for the long-distance mobile fronthaul links for the 5th generation (5G) mobile system and beyond.