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Fronthaul 6000 unlocks optical connectivity towards 5G for Verizon

Ericsson optical solution propels Verizon’s 5G

Fronthaul 6000 unlocks optical solution towards 5G for Verizon

Ericsson’s leading optical product portfolio based on WDM technology was the ideal way to ensure optical connectivity to support the 5G journey for leading US service provider Verizon.


The network centralization model has been evaluated by Verizon as a possible key stage in its evolution strategy since 2016. Back then, Verizon assessed ways of simplifying the radio area network (RAN) and reducing the use of optical fiber. The answer was an active optical fronthaul solution – Ericsson Fronthaul 6000 – to efficiently connect its 4G macro sites to a centralized baseband hotel.

Ericsson Fronthaul 6000 was introduced into the Verizon network and is now widely deployed. By serving multiple radio services over a single fiber strand, Fronthaul 6000 offers both lower operational costs and easier provisioning. Moreover, the centralization of the basebands allows for efficient radio coordination across multiple sites. This lends a new level of flexibility to the rapidly changing cellular landscape.

The benefits that Verizon enjoyed in the centralization of macro cells have since been extended to small cells. This provided a unique opportunity to explore the capabilities of Ericsson’s passive solutions in Fronthaul 6000. The modularity and flexibility of Ericsson’s remote outdoor solutions enabled Verizon to expand its Centralized RAN (CRAN) with multiple new installations (rail, pole, and handhole) that enabled reduced site space and concealment for faster permitting.

Next, the Fronthaul 6000 high-density solution was introduced into Verizon’s network. This is a pizza-box platform that enables further footprint reduction and lower power consumption in the CRAN hub. Combined with a passive remote enclosure, it also further expands the customer network into the semi-passive application.

Positive results from the use of Fronthaul 6000 led Verizon to expand the use of Ericsson solutions into other connectivity use cases, where Ericsson’s platform also confirmed its capability to interwork with 3PP routers or basebands.  Fronthaul 6000 was also used to connect outdoor baseband units with centralized routers – in a backhaul scenario. Other important developments were IP and optical convergence, where Fronthaul 6000 was used to efficiently increase router bandwidth by multiplexing several 10Gbps services over a single fiber strand.

The strategic collaboration between Ericsson and Verizon continues to this day. And the 5G journey is just beginning!


  • Verizon required a centralize RAN solution to efficiently support its network densification and evolution
  • Need for high capacity interfaces and the support of transporting any mix of services
  • To support a multitude of deployment scenarios
  • As networks migrate from 4G to 5G there is a need for low latency and protocol agnostic solutions


  • Fronthaul 6000 to serve small cell and macro deployments, in both passive or active configurations
  • Customized enclosures and solutions to fulfill any network requirements and deployment scenario
  • One platform able to meets scalability, flexibility, performance and latency demands
  • All actives nodes are managed by Ericsson Network Manager


  • Flexible and modular optical transport solution that supports evolution and centralization ambitions
  • Easier and shorter time for site permits by having customized enclosures and integrated site solutions with RAN.
  • Customized solutions for enclosures and filters to match any deployment scenario.