Synchronization challenges in packet-based Cloud-RAN fronthaul for mobile networks

Aleksandra Checko, Anders Christian Juul, Henrik Lehrmann Christiansen, Michael Stübert Berger

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Abstract

In this paper, we look at reusing existing packet-based network (e.g. Ethernet) to possibly decrease deployment costs of fronthaul Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) network and cost of Baseband Unit (BBU) resources. The challenge of this solution is that it requires mobile traffic (until now transmitted over synchronous protocols) to traverse the asynchronous Ethernet without losing synchronization. We analyze synchronization requirements of mobile networks and present an overview of solutions that fulfill them in traditional mobile networks. Then we elaborate on challenges that packet-based fronthaul imposes. We analyze possible contributions to frequency and phase error. We verify the feasibility of using the IEEE 1588v2 also know as Precision Time Protocol (PTP) for providing accurate phase and frequency synchronization. The study is based on simulations made in OPNET modeler. Thereby we bridge the gap between Ethernet and mobile network domains creating a comprehensive architectural analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Workshop on Cloud-Processing in Heterogeneous Mobile Communication Networks
PublisherIEEE
Publication date2015
Pages2721-2726
ISBN (Print)978-1-4673-6305-1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventSecond International Workshop on Cloud-Processing in Heterogeneous Mobile Communication Networks - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Jun 201512 Jun 2015

Conference

ConferenceSecond International Workshop on Cloud-Processing in Heterogeneous Mobile Communication Networks
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period08/06/201512/06/2015

Keywords

  • Cloud RAN
  • Mobile networks
  • Ethernet
  • Synchronization
  • PTP
  • IEEE 1588v2

Cite this

Checko, A., Juul, A. C., Christiansen, H. L., & Berger, M. S. (2015). Synchronization challenges in packet-based Cloud-RAN fronthaul for mobile networks. In Proceedings of Workshop on Cloud-Processing in Heterogeneous Mobile Communication Networks (pp. 2721-2726). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICCW.2015.7247590