ADVA Optical Networking plays key role in 5G-XHaul research and development network

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ADVA Optical Networking has announced its involvement in the 5G-XHaul project. The company's engineers and equipment are playing a central role in the EU-funded initiative to develop the next generation of mobile networks and services. ADVA Optical Networking's WDM-PON technology is being used to create optical links between access points, antennae and core networks in the research project's testbeds.

The initiative, which is part of the EU Horizon 2020 5G Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership (5G PPP), aims to revolutionise fronthaul and backhaul networks to create the infrastructure needed for LTE-Advanced connectivity. The three-year project is a pan-European collaboration bringing together market-leading companies, research institutes and universities in order to create the new 5G standard and address the rapidly growing need for higher data rates.

"5G is about bringing phenomenally high bandwidth to mobile devices. The problem is that the capacity requirements for the backhaul and core network also increase enormously," said Christoph Glingener, CTO, ADVA Optical Networking. "The 5G-XHaul project is helping to address this issue by creating a unique platform for collaboration. It's a vitally important joint initiative and we're thrilled to be able to contribute so much to it.

Our WDM-PONs are helping to build a world where devices can connect with the Internet anywhere. We're redesigning wireless architecture and enabling applications and services to physically follow the user so that they experience the least possible delay. Coverage dead spots will be a thing of the past. Even in dense urban canyons and remote rural backwaters, HD teleworking and video streaming will be easily accessible. 5G will even ensure connectivity when traveling on high-speed transport."

The 5G-XHaul project will culminate in 2018 with ADVA Optical Networking's team jointly conducting a large-scale field trial in Bristol, UK. This city-wide demonstration will showcase how flexibility in the passive network can be increased with the highly-efficient and cost-effective tuneable lasers built into ADVA Optical Networking's WDM-PONs. Funding for the collaboration is provided by the EU's 5G PPP, the world's biggest information and communication research program.

The ultimate aim of the project is to rethink fronthaul and backhaul networks from the system and architecture levels all the way down to the physical layer. It's goal is to enable dynamic allocation of network resources through network functions virtualisation and software-defined networking, delivering the increased capacity needed for 5G as well as providing radical improvements to energy efficiency.

"More and more mobile users want to be able to stream ultra-high definition TV and video on mobile devices. And this is just the beginning," commented, Jörg-Peter Elbers, VP, advanced technology, ADVA Optical Networking. "Today's infrastructure is nowhere near flexible enough to cope with the scale of tomorrow's requirements. A network with tens of billions of devices must be dynamic and it needs to manage itself automatically.

The 5G-XHaul project is bringing together academics and industry experts to tackle this problem. Working with university research departments means it's also a great opportunity for many students. Not only is this a real-world project with an actual product target but it puts them at the heart of the industry's next giant leap forward. They get to help connect the world, to enable the Internet of Things, to make sure Europe plays a leading role in creating the mobile network of the future."

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