Optical Technologies Supporting 5G/6G Mobile Networks

A special issue of Photonics (ISSN 2304-6732). This special issue belongs to the section "New Applications Enabled by Photonics Technologies and Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 8757

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Telecommunications and Computer Science, Bydgoszcz University of Science and Technology, 85-796 Bydgoszcz, Poland
Interests: radio-over-fiber; telecommunications optical fibers; optical networking; microwave-photonics; optical signal processing; radio-fiber systems; fiber-optic transmission systems

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Guest Editor
Institute of Communication and Computer Networks, Faculty of Computing and Telecommunications, Poznan University of Technology, ul. Polanka 3, 60-965 Poznan, Poland
Interests: tele-traffic; performance evaluation; communications networks; switching and routing; traffic control; elastic optical switching networks
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Electronics and Telecommunications, Poznan University of Technology, 60-965 Poznań, Poland
Interests: communications networks; teletraffic; teletraffic engineering; performance evaluation; cellular networks
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering of Information, Electronics and Telecommunications, University of Rome La Sapienza, 00184 Roma, Italy
Interests: telecommunication networks; all-optical networks; internet switching architectures; network function virtualization
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Electronic, Information and Telecommunications Engineering (DIET), University of Roma “La Sapienza”, 00184 Roma, Italy
Interests: optical networking; mobile and wireless networks; network function virtualization; softwarized networks
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The developed mobile 5G systems and networks as well as the planned 6G are some of the most important elements of modern communication. The technologies of 5G/6G mobile systems and networks have become so demanding that they cannot be constructed and implemented without advanced optical technologies. Core network, backhaul, midhaul, and fronthaul are the components that together form mobile systems and 5G/6G networks. Each of these components can be seen as an Xhaul integrated network service that can be run in a hybrid configuration based on DWDM, EON, or PON fiber-optic technologies. The sixth generation of mobile networks will use not only optical fiber networks, but also optical wireless Li-Fi connections. The increasing density of base stations operating at higher and higher radio frequencies will therefore force the introduction of Li-Fi, which will be dictated by the popularization of mIoT services and the evolution of Industry 4.0 towards Industry 5.0. Given that the RAN domain of 5G/6G systems is evolving towards Open-RAN architecture, Heterogeneous, multi-domain, and multi-vendor optical networks will have to work coherently to ensure the efficient transport of very differentiated network traffic. In many situations, only synchronous networks with all-optical links and very effective management of optical resources will be able to cope with these challenges. The search for optical and photonic solutions, useful in 5G/6G networks, concerns not only transmission systems, but also systems supporting the operation of effective antenna array systems, which in the O-RAN architecture are most often connected in FTTA configuration. In order to manage the shape of the radio beam for wireless path, FBG techniques, optical delay lines, or multi-core optical fibers are used. Currently, optical networks and systems are widely available, but the optimal use of their capabilities and resources in terms of transmission and energy consumption leaves much to be desired. In order to dynamically manage these resources, it is necessary to introduce machine learning techniques and elements of artificial intelligence. The intelligence of future universal optical networks will make mobile network and radio access planning automated and very optimal.

We invite scientists to submit original papers presenting the results of research on new optical technologies, which may be of key importance in future 5G/6G mobile networks. The potential topics of this Special Issue include, but are not limited to:

  • evolution of the optical Xhaul architecture;
  • optical O-RAN supporting QoS services;
  • smart all-optical paths for O-RAN and 5G/6G core network;
  • optical resource management tools dedicated to the mobile and access networks;
  • new protocols and techniques for optical slicing;
  • elastic optical networking in radio and core domain;
  • D-RoF and A-RoF techniques dedicated to effective O-RANs;
  • optical networks based on multicore fibers in O-RAN domains;
  • effective integration of mobile systems and passive optical networks;
  • BBU/CU cloud based on all-optical elastic network;
  • RRH/RU as an optical node for radio-fiber services;
  • O-RAN DU as optical network cloud service;
  • optical eCPRI/NGFI evolution and adaptation to 6G mobile networks controlled by AI;
  • ML methods and algorithms for DU service localization and optimization in optical network;
  • smart optical nodes recognizing and managing the radio traffic;
  • new smart optical TSNs for Industry 4.0/5.0 based on wireless systems;
  • highly efficient TSON services for mobile next generation backhaul;
  • optical mixed networks for mIoT services;
  • Li-Fi connections as radio-over-light services;
  • synchronous fronthaul ethernet optical links/paths with high QoS;
  • photonics antenna array connected directly to the fiber-optic/light network;
  • fiber-optic beamforming techniques for mobile smart antenna systems;
  • new modulation and coding formats for radio-fiber services.

Dr. Zbigniew Zakrzewski
Prof. Dr. Mariusz Głąbowski
Prof. Dr. Piotr Zwierzykowski
Prof. Dr. Vincenzo Eramo
Dr. Francesco Giacinto Lavacca
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Photonics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • xhaul
  • optical backhaul
  • optical fronthaul
  • midhaul
  • digitized radio-over-fiber
  • analogue radio-over-fiber
  • optical 5G/6G core
  • radio-fiber technique
  • optical O-RAN
  • photonics antenna
  • fiber-optic beamforming
  • microwave photonics
  • optical slicing
  • TSON
  • Li-Fi connection
  • VLC
  • all-optical radio transport network
  • optical RRH/RU
  • radio-over-ethernet-over-fiber
  • multicore fibers for O-RAN
  • radio-over-PON

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

22 pages, 29853 KiB  
Article
Investigation of OFDM-Based HS-PON Using Front-End LiFiSystem for 5G Networks
by Meet Kumari, Mai Banawan, Vivek Arya and Satyendra Kumar Mishra
Photonics 2023, 10(12), 1384; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics10121384 - 16 Dec 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1305
Abstract
Fifth-generation (5G) technology has enabled faster communication speeds, lower latency, a broader range of coverage, and greater capacity. This research aims to introduce a bidirectional high-speed passive optical network (HS-PON) for 5G applications and services including mobile computing, cloud computing, and fiber wireless [...] Read more.
Fifth-generation (5G) technology has enabled faster communication speeds, lower latency, a broader range of coverage, and greater capacity. This research aims to introduce a bidirectional high-speed passive optical network (HS-PON) for 5G applications and services including mobile computing, cloud computing, and fiber wireless convergence. Using 16-ary quadrature amplitude modulation orthogonal frequency division multiplexing techniques, the system transmits uplinks and downlinks with a pair of four wavelengths each. Light fidelity (LiFi) services are provided with blue light-emitting-diode-based technology. With a threshold bit error rate (BER) of 10−3, the results demonstrate reliable transportation over a 100 km fiber at −17 dBm received power and in a maximum LiFi range of 20 m. Furthermore, the system offers symmetric 4 × 50 Gbps transmission rates under the impact of fiber–LiFi channel impairments with maximum irradiance and incidence half-angles of 500. Additionally, at threshold BER, the system provides a detection surface range from 1.5 to 4 cm2. Compared to existing networks, the system also provides a high gain and low noise figure. A number of features make this system an attractive option. These include its high speed, high reach, high split ratio, low cost, easy upgradeability, pay-as-you-grow properties, high reliability, and ability to accommodate a large number of users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Technologies Supporting 5G/6G Mobile Networks)
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21 pages, 5732 KiB  
Article
A Distance-Weighted Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation Algorithm for Improved Performance in Long-Reach Passive Optical Networks for Next Generation Networks
by Adebanjo Haastrup, Mohammad Zehri, David Rincón, José Ramón Piney and Ali Bazzi
Photonics 2023, 10(8), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics10080923 - 11 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1002
Abstract
In recent years, there has been an increasing trend towards extending the coverage of passive optical networks (PONs) over large geographical areas. Long-reach PONs (LRPONs) are capable of extending the distance covered by PONs from 20 km to 100 km, leading to cost [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been an increasing trend towards extending the coverage of passive optical networks (PONs) over large geographical areas. Long-reach PONs (LRPONs) are capable of extending the distance covered by PONs from 20 km to 100 km, leading to cost savings in the network operation by reducing the number of central offices. They have become widely deployed due to their ability to provide high-speed, long-distance data transmission over optical fibers. In addition, the next generation of optical access networks are expected to provide high-capacity mobile and wireless backhauling over a wide coverage area. However, this extended reach also requires the design of efficient dynamic bandwidth allocation (DBA) schemes to address the performance degradation caused by the increased propagation delay in LRPONs. The DBA schemes commonly used for upstream traffic transmission in traditional PONs are not well-suited for use in LRPONs due to their inefficiency in bandwidth utilization due to the increased round-trip time (RTT) between the optical line terminal (OLT) and the optical network unit (ONU). In this study, we present an efficient DBA algorithm, the Distance-Weighted Bandwidth Allocation DWDBA Algorithm, specifically enhanced for multi-wavelength LRPONs. Our DBA algorithm utilizes a scheduling policy that assigns weight vectors to Optical Network Units (ONUs) based on their distance from the Optical Line Terminal (OLT), sorting them accordingly without penalizing any ONU due to their distance. The DWDBA takes the laser tuning time into consideration. We conducted extensive simulations to evaluate the performance of the proposed algorithm under various scenarios and compared it to the IPACT algorithm. The results of the simulations show that the proposed algorithm outperformed the IPACT algorithm in terms of bandwidth utilization and queue delay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Technologies Supporting 5G/6G Mobile Networks)
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15 pages, 1008 KiB  
Article
A Novel Reconfigurable Nonlinear Cascaded MZM Mixer, Amplitude Shift Key Modulator (ASK), Frequency Hopping and Phase Shifter
by Ebrahim Darabi, Heidar Keshavarz and Paulo Monteiro
Photonics 2023, 10(8), 916; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics10080916 - 9 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 858
Abstract
A novel reconfigurable Microwave Photonics (MWP) mixer is presented in this paper, which can be configured to work as a frequency hopper, ASK modulator and phase shifter. This mixer is based on a cascaded Mach–Zehnder Modulator (MZM) structure. A general nonlinear analytical model [...] Read more.
A novel reconfigurable Microwave Photonics (MWP) mixer is presented in this paper, which can be configured to work as a frequency hopper, ASK modulator and phase shifter. This mixer is based on a cascaded Mach–Zehnder Modulator (MZM) structure. A general nonlinear analytical model for the structure is presented. This model is platform free, which means it can be applied to several MWP and integrated MWP platforms. Based on the analytical model, the performance of the structure and output results, such as the optical and electrical spectrum of the structure, are derived in mathematical closed-form expressions. The results of the presented analytical model are compared and evaluated with the results obtained from the simulation to prove the correctness of the analytical model. The presented structure has a simple form, which can be fabricated at a low cost. In addition, according to the obtained results from the analytical model, there is no need to change the arrangement of the structure to operate in any of the mentioned configurations, and the desired function is achievable only by changing the bias voltage of the modulators at the desired frequency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Technologies Supporting 5G/6G Mobile Networks)
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18 pages, 1301 KiB  
Article
Performance Analysis of Automatic Hidden Ligthpaths in Multi-Layer Networks
by Edyta Biernacka and Jerzy Domżał 
Photonics 2023, 10(5), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics10050524 - 3 May 2023
Viewed by 894
Abstract
The problem of resource provisioning in multi-layer networks is an important issue. We discuss and analyze resource provisioning in terms of the visibility of optical resources for the virtual layer in a network. In this context, we propose the diversification of the optical [...] Read more.
The problem of resource provisioning in multi-layer networks is an important issue. We discuss and analyze resource provisioning in terms of the visibility of optical resources for the virtual layer in a network. In this context, we propose the diversification of the optical spectrum in such a way that some resources are hidden for the virtual layer and used when needed. We introduce and investigate automatic hidden lightpaths to improve resource utilization in multi-layer networks. Our solution uses a software-defined networking concept to automatically set up and release hidden lightpaths, which are not visible at the network layer. We evaluate and analyze two main approaches to resource provisioning in terms of the blocking probability. Future research should focus on resource diversification and the usage of the hidden elastic optical spectrum in modern networks as a promising solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Technologies Supporting 5G/6G Mobile Networks)
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19 pages, 4958 KiB  
Article
A Data Processing and Distribution System Based on Apache NiFi
by Karol Wnęk and Piotr Boryło
Photonics 2023, 10(2), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics10020210 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2583
Abstract
The monitoring of physical and logical networks is essential for the high availability of 5G/6G networks. This could become a challenge in 5G/6G deployments due to the heterogeneity of the optical layer. It uses equipment from multiple vendors, and, as a result, the [...] Read more.
The monitoring of physical and logical networks is essential for the high availability of 5G/6G networks. This could become a challenge in 5G/6G deployments due to the heterogeneity of the optical layer. It uses equipment from multiple vendors, and, as a result, the protocols and methods for gathering monitoring data usually differ. Simultaneously, to effectively support 5G/6G networks, the optical infrastructure should also be dense and ensure high throughput. Thus, vast numbers of photonic transceivers operating at up to 400 Gbps are needed to interconnect network components. In demanding optical solutions for 5G and beyond, enterprise-class equipment will be used—for example, high-capacity and high-density optical switches based on the SONiC distribution. These emerging devices produce vast amounts of data on the operational parameters of each optical transceiver, which should be effectively collected, processed, and analyzed. The aforementioned circumstances may lead to the necessity of using multiple independent monitoring systems dedicated to specific optical hardware. Apache NiFi can be used to address these potential issues. Its high configurability enables the aggregation of unstandardized log files collected from heterogenous devices. Furthermore, it is possible to configure Apache NiFi to absorb huge data streams about each of the thousands of transceivers comprising high-density optical switches. In this way, data can be preprocessed by using Apache NiFi and later uploaded to a dedicated system. In this paper, we focus on presenting the tool, its capabilities, and how it scales horizontally. The proven scalability is essential for making it usable in optical networks that support 5G/6G networks. Finally, we propose a unique optimization process that can greatly improve the performance and make Apache NiFi suitable for high-throughput and high-density photonic devices and optical networks. We also present some insider information on real-life implementations of Apache NiFi in commercial 5G networks that fully rely on optical networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Technologies Supporting 5G/6G Mobile Networks)
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