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Novel Digital Radio over Fiber (DRoF) System with Data Compression for Neutral-Host Fronthaul Applications

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© 2013 IEEE. Digital radio-over-fibre transmission has been studied extensively as a way of providing seamless last-mile wireless connectivity by carrying digitised radio frequency (RF) services over broadband optical infrastructures. With the growing demand on wireless capacity and the number of wireless services, a key challenge is the enormous scale of the digital data generated after the digitisation process. In turn, this leads to optical links needing to have very large capacity and hence, high capital expenditure (CAPEX). In this paper, we firstly present and then experimentally demonstrate a multiservice DRoF system for a neutral-host fronthaul link where both forward and reverse links use data compression, multiband multiplexing and synchronisation algorithms. The effect of a novel digital automatic gain control (DAGC) is comprehensively analysed to show an improved RF dynamic range alongside bit rate reduction. In this case, the system allows all cellular services from the three Chinese mobile network operators (MNOs) to be converged onto a single fiber infrastructure. We successfully demonstrate 14 wireless channels over a 10Gbps 20km optical link for indoor and outdoor wireless coverage, showing a minimum error value magnitude (EVM) of < 8% and >60dB RF dynamic range. It is believed that the technology provides an ideal solution for last-mile wireless coverage in 5G and beyond.



Wireless communication, Radio frequency, Heuristic algorithms, Signal processing algorithms, Dynamic range, Data compression, Optical fibers, Digital radio over fiber, neutral host, cloud radio access network (C-RAN), multiband multiplexing, automatic gain control, 4G, 5G, fronthaul

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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/P003990/1)