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Silicon Photonics in Optical Access Networks for 5G Communications

by   Xun Guan, et al.

Only radio access networks can provide connectivity across multiple antenna sites to achieve the great leap forward in capacity targeted by 5G. Optical fronthaul remains a sticking point in that connectivity, and we make the case for analog radio over fiber signals and an optical access network smartedge to achieve the potential of radio access networks. The edge of the network would house the intelligence that coordinates wireless transmissions to minimize interference and maximize throughput. As silicon photonics provides a hardware platform well adapted to support optical fronthaul, it is poised to drive smart edge adoption. We draw out the issues in adopting oursolution, propose a strategy for network densification, and cite recent demonstrations to support our approach.


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