Friday, 20th September 2019

Realisation of 5G networks requires more fibre to maximise full potential

For operators to maximise the full potential of 5G and capitalise on their network infrastructure, fibre should be at the heart of every Fibre-To-The-x (FTTx) and mobile network.

Speaking ahead of ANGA COM 2019, which will take place in Cologne, Germany next week, PaulMcCue explained that given the expected small cells, network densification and 5G requirements, it is essential that fibre is extended further into the mobile network.Fibre all the way to the antenna is becoming a necessity for many operators’fronthaul and backhaul to cater for reliable, low latency and higher bandwidth demands.

“Many companies have already planned and noticedthe pivotal role fibre will play in 5G networks,which is acting as a catalyst for them to adopt new approaches to their network builds. As operatorsswitch on 5G, FTTx and existing mobile backhaul will converge, creating a robustnetwork which can support the high-speed, anytime, anywhere connectivity that isrequired. With fibre at small cells,we see that backhaul connections followsimilar routes as street layouts in an FTTx network," stated McCue.

“At Emtelle, we have identified eight areas in fronthaul and backhaul where our fibre solutions can be used. This includes expanding existing 4G Fibre-To-The-Antennas (FTTAs),network densification, changing C-RAN, vRANarchitectures,small cell, new antenna sites, Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) through to indoor solutions.For instance, weare currently working with the Danish Outdoor Lighting Lab (DOLL), which is the country’s National Test Centre for Intelligent Lighting and Smart City services. As part of the project,we deployed our pre-terminated fibre and ducting solution, QWKconnect,that fully integrates into streetlights containing5G antennas in the DOLL network. QWKconnectis highly reliable and compact enough to be easily integrated in streetlights, trafficlights and city-wide deployments,”McCue said.

Emtelle’s FibreFlow™ WEBFLEX is another crossover technology from FTTx that the mobile industry can capitalise on, McCue went on to explain. Consistingof 12 microducts joined together in a branch formation, the solution’s unique design makes it easy to strip and branch the desired microduct with minimal disruption or risk of damage to the remaining microducts.

Fibre-connected small cells are paving the way for 5G by enabling even faster speeds, lower latency and better coordination between cells than traditional network methods.Better coordination and lower latency are essential for the advancement of future applications such as Autonomous Vehicles(AV), emphasised McCue.

“With theevolution of 4G and the architectural changes in the Radio Access Network (RAN), we saw fibre quickly become first choiceto many operators given its longevity, ultra-low latency, cost effectivenessand high bandwidth capabilities,” said McCue. “With increasing network densification and small cellsbecoming operational, performance expectations in 5G in fronthaul and backhaul are ensuring that fibre will be an even more critical asset in any operators’network.We have seen growth in newfibre and ducting network models to support all types of mobile operators as well as other wireless networks.”

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