SK Telecom’s 5G-PON Highlights Challenges from Imminent 5G Traffic Explosion

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By Jake Saunders | 1Q 2018 | IN-5009


Cloud RAN Needs Fronthaul


5G is expected to generate “a lot” of traffic. ABI Research estimates that, by 2026, 5G mobile telcos will be generating 777 exabytes of traffic annually, an amount that eclipses all of the traffic being carried on 4G LTE networks (768 exabytes annually). All of that traffic needs to be backhauled and aggregated to and from the core network.

One of the novel architectures that will be a key requirement for 5G networks is the Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) and fronthauling. C-RAN is a centralized, cloud computing-based architecture for radio access networks. C-RAN takes advantage of innovations in wireless, optical, and IT communications systems. For example, it uses the latest CPRI protocol standard, and fiber-optic connections to allow transmission of a baseband signal over long distances, thus achieving a large-scale centralized basestation deployment. This architecture allows for potentially hundreds of thousands of remote radio heads (RRHs) to be connected to a centralized baseband unit (BBU) pool. In this architecture, the fiber-optic links fronthaul…

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