A recent Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast reported that in the next five years there will be 4 billion more mobile-ready devices and connections and the average mobile connection speed will increase 2.4 fold .
The Citrix mobile consumer survey in 2014 revealed that 54% of mobile subscribers would abandon a slow-loading page in less than 10 seconds. Furthermore, 63% of millennials were more likely to blame the mobile network for mobile video stalling .
With the advent of smart devices, cloud services, newer technologies for fixed and wireless connectivity and very impatient consumers, there is tremendous pressure to strengthen the access and mobile backhaul segment of the network. The copper and microwave connections to the towers can no longer endure the exploding capacity requirements. Fiber is fast becoming the de-facto solution to meet these demands .
This paper provides a primer addressing the current technological developments, for an economic passive fiber-based backhauling and fronthauling architecture. The various network elements namely; transceivers, multiplexers, monitoring and protection systems are discussed in detail clarifying how these technologies overcome the challenges depicted in Fig. 1.
The paper introduces the possible fronthaul and backhaul layout when looking at centralized and/or distributed architectures. It delves deeper into fully passive solutions for the remote sites that reduce latency, space, power and finally cost requirements.
Since fiber convergence to mobile networks is a demanding application with quickly changing requirements, it is a much debated subject matter for all mobile service operators.