Ekinops tackles wireless fronthaul

Optical transport systems vendor Ekinops has unveiled a combination fronthaul and backhaul technology offering that supports passive, active, and mixed architectures.

Optical transport systems vendor Ekinops has unveiled a combination fronthaul and backhaul technology offering that supports passive, active, and mixed architectures.

Ekinops believe operators need a new solution to the problems caused by the increasing density of antenna sites and base stations, including the need to accommodate multiple radio frequencies per site via additional radio heads. The company's response is a 1RU passive chassis that can hold CWDM and DWDM components, including optical add/drop multiplexers. The platform can support both single- and dual-fiber network configurations.

The active DWDM approach supports Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) aggregation with up to 10 aggregation and two line ports. It leverages the Ekinops C200HC-ETR chassis.

The platform operates in the industrial temperature range of -40°C to 85°C. It supports a broad range of client interface and line interface protocols, the company says. In a mixed fronthaul-backhaul application, the platform can transport legacy Ethernet mobile backhaul traffic from already deployed base stations with Ethernet aggregating muxponders as well as transport fronthaul CPRI traffic.

"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."

The system supports mobile synchronization via a Sync-E port; the synchronization requirements of other protocols also can be accommodated via what Ekinops described as "advanced features." The system also features multiple supervisory and management options.

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