In this paper, we investigate the reduction of intermodulation distortion (IMD) in fiber–radio systems incorporating a dispersion-tolerant optical single sideband with carrier modulation. We present a systematic analysis and quantification of the third-order IMD generated due to optical components in the nonlinear optical front-end. Our proposed technique to improve the optical front-end linearity is by the removal of the optical components that contribute most to the third-order IMD in the RF domain. We experimentally demonstrated the proposed technique with two- and three-tone tests and showed more than 9-dB improvement in the overall carrier-to-IMD ratio. The proposed technique was also investigated via simulation analysis for a larger number of radio channels and showed an IMD suppression of >10 dB. In addition, the proposed technique is not only able to improve the carrier-to-interference of the radio signals but also to enable simultaneous baseband transmission, thereby facilitating the merging of millimeter-wave fiber–radio systems with other wired-access infrastructure. We present a detailed investigation and characterization of this technique.
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