Abstract

This paper proposes an elastic RF-optical networking (ERON) architecture solution for millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G radio access networks. The ERON architecture achieves energy efficiency and throughput elasticity using photonic-enhanced multibeam mmWave spatial multiplexing capability at the radio units. The centralization of the hardware resources and the converged management of the RF and optical resources in the data units offer high resource pooling gain. A numerical study on the energy efficiency of ERON’s photonic-enabled mmWave 5G system reveals that ERON is 5× more energy efficient than both conventional digital and hybrid RF beam-forming implementations. We also conducted a user mobility-aware network resources study, and the results show a 10 dB network resource pooling gain when compared to classic radio access network implementations.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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