FSO-based Vertical Backhaul/Fronthaul Framework for 5G+ Wireless Networks [article]

Mohamed Alzenad, Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir, Halim Yanikomeroglu, and Mohamed-Slim Alouini
<span title="2017-05-04">2017</span> <i > arXiv </i> &nbsp; <span class="release-stage" >pre-print</span>
The presence of a super high rate, but also cost-efficient, easy-to-deploy, and scalable, backhaul/fronthaul framework is essential in the upcoming fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks \& beyond. Motivated by the mounting interest in the unmanned flying platforms of various types including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), drones, balloons, and high-altitude/medium-altitude/low-altitude platforms (HAPs/MAPs/LAPs), which we refer to as the networked flying platforms (NFPs), for providing
more &raquo; ... ications services and the recent advances in free-space optics (FSO), this article investigates the feasibility of a novel vertical backhaul/fronthaul framework where the NFPs transport the backhaul/fronthaul traffic between the access and core networks via point-to-point FSO links. The performance of the proposed innovative approach is investigated under different weather conditions and a broad range of system parameters. Simulation results demonstrate that the FSO-based vertical backhaul/fronthaul framework can offer data rates higher than the baseline alternatives, and thus can be considered as a promising solution to the emerging backhaul/fronthaul requirements of the 5G+ wireless networks, particularly in the presence of ultra-dense heterogeneous small cells. The paper also presents the challenges that accompany such a novel framework and provides some key ideas towards overcoming these challenges.
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