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TelecomsTalk | May 30, 2024

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ProLabs at Fierce Wireless NextGen Summit: “Utilise WDM in the quest to invest for 5G success”


Dallas, USA, 17 October – With new technologies regularly being rolled out for 5G, operators can maximise their existing infrastructure and not pay a fortune to meet customer demands with waveguide division multiplexing (WDM). That’s the message from ProLabs on the first day of the Fierce Wireless NextGen Wireless Networks Summit in Dallas, Texas.

Anthony Clarkson, Technologist at global leader in compatible optical solutions ProLabs, has stressed how, in the quest to invest in future-proof technology, operators can run into hurdles and get it wrong.

“They’re trying to balance making a Return on Investment while achieving a fast time to market, all while planning ahead for the future. If they don’t fulfil all three, they will ultimately face unsatisfied customers,” he said. “Investing in new optical fiber infrastructure is not only expensive but can often require months of planning that has significant impact on the ability to turn up new services.”

Many operators are leaning towards reusing passive optical networks (PONs), but Anthony has suggested a better option to maximise existing assets while planning for the future – a WDM and Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) combination.

WDM enables the operator to send more than one data bit down the same fiber length at the same time. Fully maximising existing optical fiber infrastructure – a major challenge faced by operators of all sizes – the WDM technique adds multiple wavelengths (or colors of light) to send data across the same fiber, increasing the rate of data transfer and multiplying capacity.

“Some PONs may be suitable, but 5G will need more bandwidth per cell, which ultimately leads to higher capacities in the fronthaul network. WDM is key to delivering this increased capacity and getting the most out of current fiber networks, while CPRI will bring the major increase in speed. This is an offering which benefits all service providers and can be utilized across their entire infrastructure.”

ProLabs new range of WDM transceivers perform even in the most demanding of environments. The ideal solution to enable greater flexibility from fiber infrastructures, its wavelength stabilising technology can endure temperatures as low as -40°C to as high as +85°C which enable them to perform even in the most demanding environments.

“Traditional fronthaul connections using wireless or copper-based technology simply will not cut it. Fronthaul has to be predominantly fiber based to succeed. In order to get more from this fiber, you need to densify data with WDM techniques – it’s a no brainer. Investing in WDM is crucial as bandwidth demands continue to increase and more capacity is required,” he concluded.