June 15, 2019

A 5G mmWave Fiber-Wireless IFoF Analog Mobile Fronthaul Link with up to 24-Gb/s Multiband Wireless Capacity

  • Apostolopoulos D.
  • Argyris N.
  • Avramopoulos H.
  • Caillaud C.
  • Debregeas H.
  • Giannoulis G.
  • Iliadis N.
  • Kalfas G.
  • Kanta K.
  • Papaioannou S.
  • Pleros N.
  • Vagionas C.

We experimentally demonstrate a multiband intermediate frequency-over-fiber/mmWave (IFoF/mmWave) fiber/wireless mobile fronthaul link for gigabit capacity over the unlicensed V-band (57-64 GHz). Digital synthesis of the multiband radio waveforms is performed at the baseband unit using digital subcarrier multiplexing technique, whereas digital predistortion is exploited to cope with the analog IFoF channel impairments without any further baseband processing at the digital-free remote radio head. Commercial optoelectronic components and analog V-band radio and antenna equipment for 7-km fiber and 5-m wireless transmission are employed to successfully demonstrate both uplink and downlink connectivity. An aggregate capacity up to 24 Gb/s was demonstrated with a 6-band 1 Gbaud 16-QAM on a 7.2-GHz analog bandwidth over the combined fiber/wireless channel showing error vector magnitude (EVM) values below the 3GPP requirements (<12.5%) for 5G systems. Multiformat assignment on each subcarrier was also realized by using M-PSK and 16-QAM schemes to achieve 18-Gb/s connectivity for both uplink and downlink, while demonstrating flexible resource allocation capabilities. By replacing the stand-alone optical modulator with an InP-based externally modulated laser chip for the implementation of the IFoF transmitter, a 16-Gb/s aggregate capacity was showcased on a 7-km fiber link and 5-m wireless channel with a 4-band 16-QAM encoded at 1 Gbaud. Successful operation with robust EVM performance was demonstrated using also the 6-band scheme of 1 Gbaud QPSK bands.

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