Digital Radio Frequency Transport over Optical Fiber for 5G Fronthaul Links

Muhammad Usman Hadi, Hyun Jung, Pier Andrea Traverso, Giovanni Tartarini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Radio over fiber (RoF) is an empowering technology for the next-generation wireless networks including fifth generation cloud radio access networks. In this paper, we propose a new fronthaul interface which has been demonstrated for a 20-MHz LTE signal having 64-Quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) modulation over 50 km of standard single-mode fiber. The proposed methodology potentially reduces the overall bandwidth requirement of the link. The performance analysis has been demonstrated for conventional analog RoF (A-RoF) and proposed digital RoF (D-RoF). As a figure of merit, the performance evaluation of the two architectures is reported by analyzing error vector magnitude (EVM), signal-to-noise ratio and eye-opening penalty. It is shown that digital optical links can mitigate the impairments present in A-RoF links and can support the transmission up to 50 km. Moreover, it is shown that efficient D-RoF links can be obtained with a relatively low amount of analog-to-digital-converter resolution bits. For the D-RoF link, the EVM was measured to be less than 2 % at 50 km. This is within the LTE specifications, proving it as a cost and power effective solution for next-generation wireless networks.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Optical Communications
Early online date5 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished online - 5 Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.


  • ACLR
  • bandpass sampling
  • EVM
  • radio over fiber


Dive into the research topics of 'Digital Radio Frequency Transport over Optical Fiber for 5G Fronthaul Links'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this