5G enables a more efficient Fronthaul network
5G networks are going live around the world and Ericsson technology is leading the way. With 5G come several new opportunities but also new ways to evolve networks. Packet Fronthaul is one!
Handling of installed base of CPRI radios
Ericsson’s strategy is all Packet Fronthaul for the complete radio portfolio to ensure the most cost-effective transport solution regardless of RAN architecture. As we migrate our radio portfolio from native CPRI fronthaul to eCPRI Packet Fronthaul we have solutions to convert the existing Ericsson CPRI interface to Ericsson LLS eCPRI by moving baseband processing from the Digital unit to our new Radio Gateway, Router 6673 CPRI line card products leveraging Ericsson Silicon.
With Ericsson’s Packet Fronthaul solutions, you have an efficient and flexible toolbox for all your different deployments needs, that can also cater for continued network evolution. Using verified end-to-end solutions and products managed with a common management system, you will make sure you have the best performing networks and ease of use.
Benefits of Packet Fronthaul
Ericsson introduced eCPRI for the first time in 2017 and has since implemented eCPRI for Ericsson Massive MIMO TDD AAS radios. Our experience with Packet Fronthaul has led to an all-Packet Fronthaul strategy for the complete LTE/NR radio portfolio.
Ericsson Packet Fronthaul solutions
Ericsson’s portfolio is designed to allow flexible deployment scenarios need by service providers with support for both eCPRI and CPRI. Considerations of the needs of carrying different traffic types and deployment in different physical locations are reflected in the flexible and modular platform. Ericsson Packet Fronthaul offering includes three gateway products with different capabilities, ensuring the best solution for each deployment scenario and site requirement.
Ericsson Router 6673 is a Fronthaul Gateway, with embedded RAN Compute functionality using the unique Ericsson Silicon solution. It enables efficient conversion to eCPRI for Ericsson RAN sites, and can also use Radio over Ethernet (RoE) to cater for older types of radios in the network. With Conversion being the most effective method in terms of bandwidth savings, 60 to 80 percent in savings can be achieved depending on RAN configuration, at the same time reducing the fiber and transport equipment needs. It also works as a cell site router and aggregates enterprise traffic.
The Radio Gateway family is an evolution of the Baseband R503 CPRI mux/demux product. The new Radio Gateways switches and converts multiple CPRI streams to one eCPRI 25GE stream. The Radio Gateways are part of the gNode/eNodeB system. There are two product variants: indoor 19” and an outdoor version that follows the RAN Compute outdoor building practice.
Packet Fronthaul deployment scenarios
In the paper, we present several deployments scenarios including Cloud RAN. This is one of them describing a Packet Fronthaul in a CRAN deployment.
It may be desirable to convert CPRI to eCPRI at the antenna site to optimize the connectivity from our new RAN Compute basebands with high speed 25GE fronthaul interfaces. For example, in a compact antenna site, one Radio Gateway R308 could connect the site back to RAN Compute at a hub location using one fiber per antenna site.
The Radio Gateway R308 and R608 products at the antenna site can aggregate multiple CPRI radios onto a single 25GE eCPRI connection toward RAN Compute at the hub site. For compact sites with NR capable CPRI based Radios, R308 and R608 offers the lowest footprint and most cost-effective solution.
For larger capacity radio sites with mix of legacy and NR capable CPRI/eCPRI radios, Router 6673 offers the most flexible solution. Router 6673 can aggregate multiple CPRI radios, eCPRI radios and potential enterprise services traffic to 100GE connection toward hub site while providing feature rich synchronization and Packet functionalities.