New Approach to 5G Test Labs using RFoF (RF over Fibre)
by Rohit Kunjappa- Head of Solution Engineering, HUBER+SUHNER Polatis
Rolling out 5G is forcing wireless providers and equipment manufacturers to scale up their testing as
a large number of devices have to be connected to radios. Here, Rohit Kunjappa, Head of Solution
Engineering at HUBER+SUHNER Polatis, explains how using all-optical fibre cross-connects in place of
RF switches can help telecoms providers to scale up and improve the quality of their testing.
Everything is growing in mobile network development – the size of test labs; the distance between
radios and user devices; the number of devices that need to be connected; the number of remote
changes in topology.
Traditionally, all these processes would have been accomplished using coax cables and RF switches.
This is a very limiting approach and has a lot of constraints:
- Transmission over coax is distance limited
- The size and limited bend radius of coax makes it harder to manage
- Coax runs in test chamber environments disturb anechoic chamber EMI performance
- Impairments added by the RF switch reduces the distance between the radios and user equipment. This is exacerbated by the fact that power output of radios at 5 GHz & 6 GHz are
- As port densities increase, the cost of RF switches increases exponentially
HUBER+SUHNER offers a new approach where these limitations can be overcome by using RF over
Fibre (RFoF) transceivers and Polatis all-optical fibre switches.
The benefits of this approach using all-optical fibre switches include:
- Distance is not a limitation
- Many more devices can be connected
- Less expensive than coax cables
- Fewer (or no) RF switch ports required
- Does not interfere with anechoic chamber performance
- Topologies can be reconfigured at will and remotely
- Creates a future proof signal distribution architecture – able to switch any RF frequency now
and in the future
- RF frequency agnostic – able to route different RF frequencies on the same switch
- Polatis OOO switches achieve greater than 100 dB of RF isolation between channels at any
If you would like more details, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Or you can
reach out to your local HUBER+SUHNER representative to get more information on our RFoF and optical switching solutions for your lab or network requirements.