Abstract

Enabling the transport of fronthaul traffic in next-generation cellular networks [fifth-generation (5G)] following the cloud radio access network (C-RAN) architecture requires a redesign of the fronthaul network featuring high capacity and ultra-low latency. With the aim of leveraging statistical multiplexing gains, infrastructure reuse, and, ultimately, cost reduction, the research community is focusing on Ethernet-based packet-switch networks. To this end, we propose using the high queuing delay percentiles of the G/G/1 queuing model as the key metric in fronthaul network dimensioning. Simulations reveal that Kingman’s exponential law of congestion provides accurate estimates on such delays for the particular case of aggregating a number of evolved Common Public Radio Interface fronthaul flows, namely functional splits IU and IID. We conclude that conventional 10 G, 40 G, and 100 G transponders can cope with multiple legacy 10–20 MHz radio channels with worst-case delay guarantees. Conversely, scaling to 40 and 100 MHz channels will require the introduction of 200G, 400G, and even 1T high-speed transponders.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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