China Unicom, ADVA Optical Networking trial G.metro tech

03 November 2016 | Jason McGee-Abe


G.metro technology has taken one step closer to real-world deployment after China Unicom successfully trialled ADVA Optical Networking technology in an advanced fronthaul network.

The wavelength-agnostic prototype showcased how the new architecture enhances fibre capacity in access systems by using a single bi-directional fibre link between head-end and tail-end equipment, reducing the requirement for wavelength configuration and management.

The technology, which also underwent a laboratory demonstration in Beijing, utilises self-tuning transponders, easing cost and complexity for metro access network applications, including fronthaul/backhaul, fixed broadband access and enterprise networks. It also proved to be fully compatible with current commercial wireless technology.

"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," said Guangquan Wang, editor, G.metro recommendation and director, network technology research institute at China Unicom.

"With this field trial and lab demo, we've shown how to achieve these efficiencies and ensure low-latency performance. 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 Optical Networking's prototype technology directly distributes Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) wavelengths to remote radio units, base stations, desktops or end-users. This enables up to 40 DWDM wavelength channels with a grid of 100GHz. Each channel is able to transmit data at 10Gbps over a 20km fibre distance without optical amplification.

Michael Eiselt, director of advanced technology at ADVA Optical Networking, added: "Today's service providers are facing an unprecedented challenge. Keeping pace with ever-increasing mobile data demand is simply impossible without a fundamental change to network architecture.”

This enhanced efficiency could be crucial for converged metro-access and for 5G networks in the near future.