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5G integrated Fiber-Wireless networks exploiting existing photonic technologies for high-density SDN-programmable network architectures

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - 5G-PHOS (5G integrated Fiber-Wireless networks exploiting existing photonic technologies for high-density SDN-programmable network architectures)

Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2021-08-31

5G-PHOS produces a novel architecture that provides a seamless, interoperable, Ethernet-supporting and Software Defined Networking (SDN)-programmable FiWi transport network that features massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antennas in the V-band and offers a) up to 400 Gb/s wireless peak data rate in ultra-dense networks, adopting optical Spatial-Division-Multiplexed solutions on top of the emerging 25 Gb/s Passive Optical Network (PON) infrastructures, delivering a packetized integrated FiWi fronthaul network and b) 100 Gb/s wireless peak data rate in Hot-Spot areas, showcasing the benefits of Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) technology and packetized X-hauling in private Hotspot infrastructures. The fact that the “last-meters” segment of the transport network is wireless, offers incomparable flexibility to MNOs, allowing elasticity in equipment installation and the ability to add or move equipment as the needs of subscribers change over time and 5G networks expand. The future-proofing and cost cutting features of the 5G-PHOS solution, facilitate the deployment of 5G by the MNOs, accelerate the penetration of 5G technology into dense-urban areas, and thus allowing societies to rip the benefits of 5G communications faster and without excessive urban landscape intervention.
An overall summary of the 5G-PHOS progress and main achievements is provided below:
High speed photodiodes were developed and integrated, while an implementation of on chip biasing circuit with a 50Ω matching resistor could allow for >110 GHz bandwidth on 25Ω effective load. A mini-ROADM was developed and fully characterized, achieving ultra low-losses of 2.55 dB. Fully packaged Rx & Tx OBFN prototypes were developed, hosting all the required driving electronics and GUI. The project has also completed and characterized the development of the Flexbox and RRH prototypes that are a crucial part of the 5G-PHOS architecture. This included the development of the complete Transmitter-Receiver DSP chain, supporting OFDM waveforms with up to 1.6Gb/s user data-rate, when modulating and transmitting a 16-QAM modulation format and 400 MHz bandwidth. Regarding resource allocation, the consortium has performed an analytical study regarding the optimal utilization of radio and optical resources in converged FiWi X-haul transport network for 5G communications. The consortium also studied the problem of concurrency between of real-time and non real-time traffic over the 5G-PHOS solution and introduced Quality-of-Service characteristics considering two traffic categories, i.e. Express and Best Effort traffic, while devising 3 traffic prioritization schemes, such as Simple Priority, Priority with Packet Pre-emption and Dedicated Sub-band allocation. With respect to SDN functionalities, the consortium has delivered the final version of the 5G-PHOS SDN controller, termed as the NPO tool. The NPO tool has also been tested and debugged within the scope of Demonstrators #2 and #3 of the project. Regarding demonstrators the 5G-PHOS technologies were evaluated in lab-environments of Fiber Wireless links, demonstrating its capability to deliver 1 Gb/s user data rate, 120 degrees beamsteering, multi-user network scenarios and up to 10 Gb/s peak data traffic for the RRH technologies, and regarding the FlexBox, real-time Ethernet-to ARoF transmission over the field-deployed PON of TIM and bidirectional transmission using OFDM waveform with up to 1.6 Gb/s data-rate. Moreover, two Demonstrators were completed successfully, with Demo #3 concluding to three successful real-time services UHD video transmission, iperf measurements with 237 Mb/s data-rate and SDN controlled wavelength allocation through proper VLAN-tags over a 6m radio distance that can potentially scale up to 117m based on the experimental dynamic range, while Demonstrator #2 has also exhibited a variety of services running real-time over the 5G-PHOS solution, with the SDN controller automatically and dynamically controlling the number of bands allocated at the system.
Finally, the 5G-PHOS project’s scientific findings have been published in prestigious international journals, conferences, and workshops, with the project reaching a total of 125 publications throughout its lifetime.
5G-PHOS exhibited impressive progress and technology advancements beyond the state-of the art in multiple fronts. More specifically:
1. 5G-PHOS produced the first of its kind converged FiWi Point-to-Multipoint X-haul transport network architecture and solution for use with eCPRI-enabled 5G communications. This is a novel solution that currently does not exist in the market and promises ease of installation and flexible equipment and resource allocation.
2. Two version of the 5G-PHOS MIMO PCBs have been fabricated, with the second including 8 antenna Tiles, each carrying 32 radiating elements, enabling 8 parallel beam steering streams.
3. The project produced photodiodes with >70 GHz bandwidth/0.6 A/W responsivity and 63 GHz bandwidth/0.73 A/W responsivity (on 50Ω load), while an on-chip biasing circuit with a 50Ω matching resistor allowing >110 GHz bandwidth on 25Ω effective load was also implemented.
4. Two versions of a 60 GHz narrow-band TIA have been manufactured, assembled and characterized, showing complex modulations support.
5. The project demonstrated a multi-user (6 user channels) transmission over a combined Fiber-Wireless fronthaul link achieving world-record high peak aggregate data traffic of 24 Gb/s.
6. The project has also developed novel packaged Reconfigurable OADM for Point to Multi-Point topologies, while it also developed a packaged RX & TX OBFN.
7. A bandwidth-reconfigurable mmWave Fiber Wireless (FiWi) fronthaul bus topology for spectrally efficient and flexibly reconfigurable 5G Centralized-Radio Access Networks (C-RAN) was experimentally demonstrated for the first time, including four 1 Gb/s Intermediate Frequency over Fiber (IFoF) channels that can be flexibly allocated among two in-series ultra-low loss Si3N4 TriPleX Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) integrated nodes, supporting in total 8 V-band terminals.
8. The project produced a series of detailed studies regarding the performance of the converged FiWi 5G-PHOS architecture, including the development and performance evaluation of QoS priority schemes for concurrency of real-time and not real-time traffic.
9. The project produced a novel Network Planning and Operation (NPO) tool and a accompanying SDN controller capable of providing a high-level control to the users of the 5G-PHOS solution.
10. The project produced 3 Demonstrators proving the validity of the 5G-PHOS solution.

The expected impact of 5G-PHOS can be summarized in the following:
1. Faster deployment and adoption of 5G networks through the exploitation of the hybrid optical/wireless transmission network.
2. Avoidance of extensive urban landscape intervention, by not requiring installation of fiber at every 5G access point installation site.
3. Solution for installing 5G equipment to areas where brown/green-field deployment is prohibitive.
4. Exploit cutting edge photonic PIC and wireless V-band mMIMO technology to produce a solution capable of handling the challenging 5G transport network requirements.
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