Abstract

Ultra-high-capacity indoor wireless connectivity is considered a key technology enabler to support end-to-end delivery of new services in the beyond-5G and 6G era. With physical layer data rates well beyond 10 Gbps, optical wireless communication (OWC) technology is positioning itself as a prospective candidate to support these services. While OWC is capable of handling multi-gigabit data rates in the wireless domain, the underlying distribution network architecture is not designed to transport the projected high volumes of data as well as the expected added complexity of managing and coordinating multiple narrow beams, beamsteering, and femto cells. To future proof wireless local area networks (LANs) including those using the radio spectrum, we propose a universal network architecture that features centralized software/hardware resource pools as well as control and data plane separation in conjunction with virtualization support and a high-capacity fiber distribution network. Such an architecture has the potential to realize interoperability between existing and future high-capacity wireless LAN technologies such as Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi in the 60 GHz range, as well as dynamic and flexible allocation of resources in response to changing user bandwidth demand. Our results demonstrate the benefits of the universal network architecture in supporting high throughput performance, low delay, and increased resiliency.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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