China Unicom successfully trials ADVA G.metro fronthaul prototype

China Unicom
Credit: zhu difeng /

ADVA Optical Networking says that China Unicom has conducted a successful field trial of its G.metro (WDM-PON) technology in an advanced fronthaul network.

The wavelength-agnostic prototype uses a single bidirectional fiber link between head-end and tail-end equipment, reducing the requirement for wavelength configuration and management. By leveraging autonomous transponders, this technique dramatically reduces cost and complexity for metro access network applications, including mobile fronthaul/backhaul, fixed broadband access and enterprise networks.

After evaluating ADVA’s G.metro technology, China Unicom showcased the device to customers at a laboratory demonstration in Beijing.

“Due to booming demand for mobile data, it’s become essential that we find innovative ways to increase capacity. Converged metro-access networks are key to this, but so are reducing complexity and improving operational efficiency. That’s what ADVA Optical Networking’s strategy is able to deliver,” saidWang Guangquan, editor, G.metro recommendation, and director, network technology research institute, China Unicom.

“With this field trial and lab demo, we’ve shown how to achieve these efficiencies and ensure low-latency performance,” Wang continued. “During the trial, the prototype was installed in one of our central offices in Tianjin to replace the transmission link of one of our working LTE stations. The results showed that the new technology integrated seamlessly with our current wireless equipment and had no impact on services whatsoever.”

ADVA’s prototype technology, which is defined by the ITU-T G.metro standard, directly distributes DWDM wavelengths to remote radio units, base stations, desktops or end users. This enables up to 40 DWDM wavelength channels with a grid of 100 GHz. Each channel is able to transmit data at 10 Gbps over a 20-km fiber distance without optical amplification. With a centralized wavelength locker at the head-end, cost and complexity at the tail-end are significantly reduced.

This enhanced efficiency will be crucial for converged metro-access and for 5G networks in the near future, ADVA says.

The prototype also proved to be fully compatible with current commercial wireless technology, paving the way for imminent real-world deployment, said Michael Eiselt, ADVA’s director of advanced technology.

“After five years of continuous development, we’ve demonstrated the feasibility and reliability of the autonomous wavelength tuning concept,” Eiselt said. “We’ve shown how it works in a live network to significantly reduce the overall cost of data transport. Now that our prototype has been trialed successfully with zero errors, G.metro technology has moved a big step closer to real-world deployment.”

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