Fronthaul is a critical part of the Private 5G network architecture. It binds together Radio Units, Distributed processing Units, and, especially for industrial environments, high performance Mobile Edge Computing Nodes.
5G Fronthaul is much more than evolved 4G Fronthaul – in fact, a completely different architectural approach is needed
In 5G Fronthaul, traffic patterns have changed
|4G Fronthaul||5G Fronthaul|
|Bit-stream CPRI or OBSAI traffic||Packetized eCPRI or Radio over Ethernet traffic|
|Dedicated channel per Remote Radio Head||Multiple virtual channels with different latency and bandwidth requirements|
|Standard, fixed CPRI Rates per channel||Flexible bandwidth requirements per virtual channel|
|Up to 25Gbps per Remote Radio Head||Up to 100Gps per Remote Radio Head|
4G Fronthaul is implemented today primarily as an optical network. While optical transport technologies can provide reasonably low latency, they do not scale well for the packetized, flexible rate traffic that is prevalent in 5G Fronthaul networks.
At the same time, packet based networks used for 4G anyhaul cannot guarantee the low latency requirements specific for 5G fronthaul.
In upcoming posts we will discuss in more detail specific requirements and architectural approaches for Canoga’s 5G fronthaul solution.