The telecommunication world is experiencing the 5th generation (5G) networks deployment including the use of millimeter wave (mmW) frequency bands to satisfy capacity demands. This leads to the extensive use of optical communications, especially the optical fiber connectivity at the last mile access and the edge networks. In this paper we outline fiber and free space optics (FSO) technologies for use as part of the 5G optical fronthaul network. We investigate two different mmW transmission schemes based on (i) the conventional analog radio over fiber transmission using one Mach-Zehnder modulator (MZM) with double sideband (DSB) optical modulation, and (ii) an optical-based frequency doubling with one MZM biased at the null point to introduce carrier suppression DSB (CS DSB) transmission and second MZM used for data modulation. Both systems are assessed in terms of the error vector magnitude, signal-to-noise ratio, dynamic range and phase noise. We consider a configuration for the fronthaul network in the frequency range 2 (FR2) at 27 and 39 GHz with the scale of bandwidth up to 400 MHz with M-quadrature amplitude modulation and quadrature phase shift keying. Results are also shown for FR1 at 3.5 GHz. Moreover, we investigate for the first time the 5G new radio signal transmission under strong turbulence conditions and show the turbulence-induced FSO link impairment. We finally demonstrate the CS DSB scheme performs well under chromatic dispersion-induced fading for the frequency up to 40 GHz and single mode fiber length of 30 km, whereas the DSB format seems more appropriate for an antenna seamless transmission.
|Number of pages||15|
|Early online date||12 Aug 2021|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Aug 2021|