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Optica Publishing Group
  • Journal of Lightwave Technology
  • Vol. 39,
  • Issue 21,
  • pp. 6712-6723
  • (2021)

On the 40 GHz Remote Versus Local Photonic Generation for DML-Based C-RAN Optical Fronthaul

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Abstract

Local and remote photonic millimeter wave (mmW) signal generation schemes are theoretically and experimentally evaluated in order to compare both approaches for practical deployment in a cloud radio access network (C-RAN) fronthaul network. The paper presents a full comprehensive formulation of the frequency response of a system based on a directly modulated laser transmitting data over 40 GHz signal which is generated by external carrier suppressed modulation and optical frequency multiplication. Theoretical and experimental characterization of the system response at baseband and mmW band for local and remote generation setups show very good agreement. The remote configuration leads to a higher electrical output power (i.e., 15 dB higher in 25 km fiber links) than the local generation setup in the mmW band due to the combined effect of chirp and fiber dispersion, although intermodulation distortion is higher in the former case. Transmission experiments using quadrature phase-shift keying (QPSK) signals with 250 MHz bandwidth centered at 0.5 GHz over 10 and 25 km fiber links also confirm the superior performance of the remote setup, whereas the local setup leads to similar results to optical back-to-back (OB2B) measurements, which is also validated with data signals centered at different frequencies within the laser bandwidth frequency range. Finally, experimental results show the quality of the recovered signals in terms of error vector magnitude (EVM) as a function of the received electrical power and demonstrate that no further penalties are introduced by photonic mmW signal generation with respect to electrical back-to-back (EB2B) levels.

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