Emine Moutaly, Philippos Assimakopoulos, Shabnam Noor, Salim Faci, Anne-Laure Billabert, Nathan J. Gomes, Mohamed Lemine Diakité, Colm Browning, Catherine Algani, Journal of Lightwave Technology 37, Issue: 23, Dec.1, 1 (2019)
Analog radio-over-fiber technology is gaining interest as a potential candidate for radio signal transport over the future fronthaul section of the 5th generation (and beyond) radio access network. In this paper, we propose a radio-over-fiber fronthaul with intensity modulation in the downlink and phase modulation with interferometric detection in the uplink, for simplified and power efficient remote units. We conduct an experimental investigation and verification of theoretical and simulation models of the performance of the phase-modulated uplink and demonstrate the ability of such an architecture to transport single-channel and multi-channel 5G-type radio waveforms. Experimentally verified data rates of 4.3 Gbps and simulation-based predictions, using a well matched-to-measurements model of the uplink, of 12.4 Gbps are presented, with error-vector magnitude performance well within relevant standard specifications for 64-QAM.