Nokia on Tuesday said it’s found a way for operators to reuse existing fiber-to-the-home deployments to provide 4G and 5G fronthaul with ultra-low latency.
Nokia Bell Labs has reportedly demonstrated that it’s possible to use commercial next generation passive optical network (NG-PON) to transport CPRI streams over a single fiber running from a baseband unit to a remote radio head. The company said its proof-of-concept showing was conducted in line with fronthaul latency requirements for commercial radio equipment.
“This is an important milestone in the industry and in the advancement of 5G, showing for the first time how a PON network can effectively be used to support very high capacity, low latency applications,” Nokia Bell Labs Head of Access Research Peter Vetter commented. “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.”
Nokia indicated the use of 10 gigabit symmetrical PON technology can meet latency and capacity needs for 5G while reducing the cost of mobile cell site transport. The company noted operators can also use PON to support IoT applications and other services that are latency-sensitive, like manufacturing control and connected cars.
The announcement comes on the heels of Corning’s debut of a new multi-use cable platform, that allows operators to deliver a mix of single and multi-fiber options across residential, business, wireless backhaul, and more over the same infrastructure. Corning’s VP of Market Development for Carrier Networks Bob Whitman said the platform was developed in response to a push by carriers to become more efficient as they converge their wireless and wireline networks. More on that here.
Federico Guillén, president of Nokia’s Fixed Networks business group, also acknowledged the trend.
“I’ve often said that the world is going wireless, but wireless is going fixed,” Guillén said. “This Bell Labs demonstration is another example, successfully showing how fixed access technologies can be used to support mobile deployments. Mobile environments that may have traditionally relied on dedicated transport networks to connect cell sites to their core networks can now use existing fiber access networks as an alternative. The massive scale, capacity, and coverage of fiber access networks make them a perfect match to support 5G.”
Filed Under: Infrastructure, IoT • IIoT • internet of things • Industry 4.0