Huawei and China Unicom in First National Commercial Deployment of Full-Outdoor WDM 4G C-RAN Mobile Fronthaul Network

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The FINANCIAL — Recently,Huawei and China Unicom announced they have successfully completed the first commercial deployment of a 4G cloud radio access network (C-RAN) mobile fronthaul network using a full-outdoor WDM C-RAN mobile fronthaul bearer solution. The deployment resolves fiber resource consumption and supervision issues in China Unicom’s C-RAN construction, and paves the way for future large-scale 4G C-RAN construction.

The C-RAN solution enables BBU resource sharing in radio cells, improves user experience, and reduces operator O&M costs. Centralized BBUs, however, inevitably cause huge fiber resource consumption at the access layer, and there is no effective measure available to monitor and manage a large number of end fibers. This makes maintenance difficult. To resolve the difficulties of cable consumption and management in C-RAN construction, China Unicom Nanjing chose the Huawei OptiX OSN 810 full-outdoor WDM C-RAN mobile fronthaul bearer solution. This solution supports multi-channel, full-rate CPRI and OBSAI service transmission, as well as GE, 10GE, and SDH services. It meets integrated service transmission requirements and greatly reduces fiber resource consumption. The solution is free of optical-layer design and features automatic service configuration, greatly shortening the service provisioning time. The solution uses an NMS to implement remote monitoring and precise fault locating, enhancing the maintainability of radio access networks. In addition, the solution complies with IP65 waterproof and dustproof standards and adopts a full-outdoor pole-mounted design, avoiding site rental and further reducing the overall network construction cost, according to Huawei.

The deployment of the full-outdoor WDM C-RAN mobile fronthaul bearer network represents a breakthrough for both Huawei and China Unicom Nanjing research on the C-RAN bearer domain, and indicates the beginning of large-scale commercial C-RAN use in China and inevitably in other markets as well. The successful deployment also further enhances both parties’ cooperation in the bearer network domain, and boosts their confidence in dealing with the challenges to bearer networks in radio and fixed network construction.

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