Abstract

We present a fixed mobile convergence topology for analog intermediate frequency over fiber (A-IFoF)/millimeter-wave (mmWave) transmission, benefiting from the reuse of the deployed passive optical network (PON) infrastructure, towards future mobile fronthaul architectures. Powerful fully programmable gate array boards located inside the access nodes convert the Ethernet-based traffic to orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM)-modulated intermediate frequency (IF) waveforms, supporting the A-IFoF propagation through the optical legacy infrastructure. Coexistence of the 5G traffic with the residential legacy traffic for the field propagation is achieved through utilization of unused C-band channels and wavelength-division multiplexing. To this extent, we experimentally demonstrate the downlink operation of a converged A-IFoF/mmWave link, over Telecom Italia’s legacy infrastructure located at Turin. Four-quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM)-OFDM and 16QAM-OFDM IF signals with ${\sim}{200}\;{\rm MHz}$ and 400 MHz bandwidth [considered within the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) New Radio specifications] were generated through a radio frequency system-on-chip platform and optically multiplexed with the legacy fiber-to-the-home services. After propagation to the field, the A-IFoF stream was directly fed to a directional wireless link operating at 60 GHz. Successful PON/over-the-air transmission with error vector magnitude (EVM) values well below the 3GPP (${\lt} 12.5 \%$) requirements for 5G New Radio was demonstrated, with a 10.5% EVM for 16QAM-OFDM modulated with 400 MHz bandwidth.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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