5G fronthaul networks add flexibility
2020.04.08 – 5G Technology World by Lincoln Lavoie, Technical Chair at Broadband Forum
‘Flexibility in network control and distribution has created the need for separating the functions between wireless and wired network equipment.
To deliver on the promise of 5G, which sometimes seems like everything to everyone, network operators will need to augment their existing network architectures, addressing some flexibility brought into existence with the new 5G technologies and designs. Overall, 5G brings numerous changes to the mobile network, its architecture, and the equipment used to construct it. 5G is so much more than a wireless technology. Indeed, it’s producing significant changes on the wired network, particularly in the fronthaul, the portion of the network closest to the radio.
Most of us are familiar with backhaul, that network connection pulling traffic from RAN (radio access network) into the mobile core network. The rapid growth of data rich mobile services (radio access network) into the mobile core network. The rapid growth of data rich mobile services (video chat, augmented maps / directions, rich web applications, streaming video etc.) and the raw number of connected devices, drove increasing requirements on these connections, including throughput and latency requirements. Most of these connections are deployed over dedicated fiber optical links or microwave links. Operators have also deployed additional links, upgraded connections, and where necessary, installed additional equipment.’