While many have focused on the faster data services, which allow rapid download of movies and support virtual and augmented reality, 5G is envisioned to support a very wide range of service with diverse network requirements. Devices commonly called Internet of Things (IOT) will create a huge number of clients and also define new requirements to power efficiency. Emergency and mission-critical services will have high requirements for service availability and reliability. Machine-to-machine communication will in many cases add a demand for ultra-low latency.
While everybody is excited about the capabilities and prospects of 5G, specific services that can leverage 5G are still very few. With technology evolving faster than ever before, much debate still focusses on the killer app and the actual need for 5G. Most of the envisioned services still do not exist and often also do not have a clear business case yet. However, it is clear that 5G will be a powerful technology platform on which new services can and will be developed. There are no shortage of ideas and few, if any, doubt that the platform will be leveraged.
The deployments in South Korea follow a 5G NR (new radio) non-stand-alone architecture, which leverages the existing 4G infrastructure to maximize coverage quickly for the capital invested. OE Solutions is currently shipping 10s-of-thousands of optical transceivers per month for deployment in Korea’s new wireless infrastructure. These include both 10G and 25G transceivers – focusing mostly on WDM in the O-band, which most cost-efficiently leverage the existing fiber infrastructure. The careful selection of optical wavelengths used for the deployments allows coexistence with a host of other services on the same fiber and ensures best future use of the fiber as bandwidth demands increase.
OE Solutions is leveraging a long history of developing transceivers for wireless applications to develop these custom transceivers in close collaboration with the network equipment manufacturers and the network operators. OE Solutions’ legacy in high-speed grey-optics and WDM optical transceivers for wireless fronthaul gives the company unique advantages to ensure the best utilization of existing infrastructure while meeting the new requirements of 5G. Key products for 5G wireless deployments include the 25Gbps SFP28 BIDI ER-lite, the 25Gbps LWDM SFP28 and the 10Gbps O-band DWDM SFP+.