Mobile operators are looking for new network architectures to help increase capacity, reduce costs, simplify networks and share resources to match the dynamic nature of mobile networks. Power and space are scarce resources at cell sites, and total power bills are considerable. The advent of centralized radio access networks (C-RAN) and eventually cloud radio access networks (Cloud-RAN) enables operators to address power and space challenges and creates a new transmission network – mobile fronthaul. New standards like 4G/Long Term Evolution (LTE) and ultimately 5G place additional requirements on the mobile transport network that need to be addressed by a mobile fronthaul solution.
Gabriel Brown, Principal Analyst, Mobile Networks and 5G at Heavy Reading said, “Mobile operators are increasingly looking to deploy Cloud RAN commercially for LTE Advanced Pro and expect the technology to play a key role in 5G. Among the challenges operators face are diverse implementation options and uncertainty about the functional split in the 5G RAN, making it critical that high-performance fronthaul transport solutions are sufficiently flexible that they can be upgraded, in software, to meet future requirements.”
Infinera’s Mobile Fronthaul Solution builds on the company’s extensive experience in wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) access, coupled with the support for Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) and Open Base Station Architecture Initiative (OBSAI) protocols. This solution delivers a number of capabilities important in fronthaul deployments.
First, the Infinera Mobile Fronthaul Solution encompasses multiple solution options to address the high level of variety in deployment scenarios that characterizes an access network. Active, semi-passive and passive WDM options are provided to address the varying availability of colored/un-colored optics in the cell tower and cell site, the availability of fiber assets and diverse requirements for network monitoring and protection.
Infinera provides a wide range of mobile fronthaul options, including active, semi-passive and passive options, each targeting different deployment scenarios and requirements.
Second, with key strengths in areas such as ultra-low latency and synchronization, coupled with patented delay compensation, Infinera’s Mobile Fronthaul Solution is well-suited to demanding mobile fronthaul requirements in these areas.
Third, by supporting service types such as CPRI, OBSAI and Ethernet in a single solution, with software upgrades to support future 5G requirements, Infinera’s Mobile Fronthaul Solution makes rip and replace unnecessary and provides a smooth evolution to 5G. In addition, the solution offers great flexibility in deployment scenarios, with street cabinet, temperature-hardened and rack-mounted options.
The Infinera Mobile Fronthaul Solution coexists with the Infinera Mobile Backhaul Solution, with both solutions managed via the Infinera Digital Network Administrator (DNA) network management system.