In this paper, it is proposed to take advantage of the deployed passive optical network (PON) infrastructure by overlaying a decomposed radio access network (RAN) using a very dense WDM. Coherent optical orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing technology is investigated for achieving the desired narrow channel spacings while minimizing the impact on the performance of legacy equipment. A practical implementation is evaluated using simulations. Within the analyzed configurations, a trade-off is found between time-division multiplexed (TDM)-PON and RAN performance. The optimum balance is found for additional losses in the TDM-PON path of less than 1 dB, ensuring simultaneous service to a maximum of 145 metro cells together with the PON customers and within a reach of 24 km.
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