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Massively Distributed Antenna Systems with Non-Ideal Optical Fiber Front-hauls A Promising Technology for 6G Wireless Communication Systems

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Document pages: 17 pages

Abstract: Employing massively distributed antennas brings radio access points (RAPs)closer to users, thus enables aggressive spectrum reuse that can bridge gapsbetween the scarce spectrum resource and extremely high connection densities infuture wireless systems. Examples include cloud radio access network (C-RAN),ultra-dense network (UDN), and cell-free massive multiple-input multiple-output(MIMO) systems. These systems are usually designed in the form offiber-wireless communications (FWC), where distributed antennas or RAPs areconnected to a central unit (CU) through optical front-hauls. A large number ofdensely deployed antennas or RAPs requires an extensive infrastructure ofoptical front-hauls. Consequently, the cost, complexity, and power consumptionof the network of optical front-hauls may dominate the performance of theentire system. This article provides an overview and outlook on thearchitecture, modeling, design, and performance of massively distributedantenna systems with non-ideal optical front-hauls. Complex interactionsbetween optical front-hauls and wireless access links require optimum designsacross the optical and wireless domains by jointly exploiting their uniquecharacteristics. It is demonstrated that systems with analogradio-frequency-over-fiber (RFoF) links outperform their baseband-over-fiber(BBoF) or intermediate-frequency-over-fiber (IFoF) counterparts for systemswith shorter fiber length and more RAPs, which are all desired properties forfuture wireless communication systems.

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