Ekinops, a leading supplier of next-generation optical network equipment, today introduced a fronthaul solution that addresses wireless service providers' urgent need to increase data capacity affordably and efficiently by taking fiber all the way to the base station.
The EKINOPS solution supports both passive and active architectures or mixed approaches, in which fronthaul and backhaul combine to enable unprecedented mobile RAN possibilities.
EKINOPS addresses the move to radio site densification, driven by data capacity needs, with its solution, as well as the need for several different radio frequencies being used at a given site, requiring more and more radio heads per site. The compact solution, with its low power requirements, is also designed to limit operational costs and to be installed quickly, improving mobile operators' time to market.
Ekinops' passive CWDM and DWDM approach operates on a 1RU passive chassis that can hold various elements such as multiplexers and optical add/drop multiplexers (OADMs), enabling a vast range of multiplexing schemes in single or dual fiber configurations.
The active DWDM approach focuses on Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) aggregation to allow the use of fewer fibers for greater efficiency in the optical portion of the network. This approach offers highly flexible multiplexing capability, with up to 10 aggregation and two line ports. This active solution is delivered through Ekinops’ C200HC-ETR chassis.
"RAN (Radio Access Network) evolution is driven by both technology and economics," said Francois Xavier Ollivier, CTO of Ekinops. "We are seeing the notion of fronthaul as complementary to legacy backhaul continue to evolve. We believe that gradually, fronthaul and backhaul will mix in order to optimize the mobile access network architecture."
Addressing radio sites of different capacities, the EKINOPS solution is industrial temperature range capable, from -40°C to 85°C. It supports a broad range of client interface and line interface protocols. In a mixed fronthaul-backhaul scenario, it can transport legacy Ethernet backhaul traffic from already deployed base stations with Ethernet aggregating muxponders and transport fronthaul CPRI traffic. It also has a number of supervisory and management options.
For mobile synchronization, the chassis' Sync-E port allows for carrying the frequency synchronization – required for 2G to 4G standards – in packet-based backhaul network. Advanced features also meet the synchronization requirements of other protocols.
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