Opportunities, Challenges and Interplay of Next Generation Optical and Wireless Access Networks


July 3 -5 2013, Lisbon, Portugal



Workshop Organizers: Konstantinos Kanonakis, Athens Information Technology (AIT), Ioannis Tomkos, Athens Information Technology (AIT), Josep Prat, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Spain).

Abstract: "The broadband access landscape has undergone a number of significant transformations during the past few years. On the wireline side, although DSL variants are still dominant, the need for optical access is finally undisputable. The standardized and deployed Passive Optical Network (PON) technology seems to take the lead, either in the form of ITU-T/FSAN GPON/XG-PON or IEEE EPON/10G-EPON. The ever-increasing user bandwidth requirements as well as the need for network consolidation to reduce CAPEX/OPEX costs have driven FSAN efforts towards Next Generation PON 2 (NGPON2) standards, supporting at least 40Gbps aggregate bandwidth via a combined use of Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) and Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM). However, scalability issues, as well as the need for flexibility and increased optical spectrum utilization, have led to the investigation of several other technological options, including Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access PON (OFDMA-PON) and Ultra-Dense WDM PON (UDWDM-PON). The latter, though considerably challenging, are expected to play a significant role in shaping the future PON standards in the years to come.
At the same time, the advent of a new wave of mobile devices (smartphones/tablets) appears to be the much-sought “killer application” that will boost broadband wireless technology. In the short term, the rapidly increasing volumes of mobile traffic are to be supported by the recently deployed 4G networks using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. However, the industry and academia are already looking into the requirements and specifications for the next generation (a.k.a. 5G) of wireless networks. Moreover, the concept of a Cloud Base Station (BS) in a Virtualized RAN has recently been introduced, which uses virtualization techniques such as dynamic and elastic allocation of base-band processing resources between small and large cell sites, as well as load balancing or load concentration between temporarily overloaded sites and their less utilized neighbours. The enormous volumes of wireless traffic enabled by the aforementioned technologies will in turn impose heavy back/fronthauling requirements and threaten to shift the overall bottleneck deeper in the network. The enhanced capabilities of optical access networks as described above make them an attractive candidate for wireless back/fronthauling, however the exact ways to efficiently achieve this goal of converged optical/wireless access are not yet defined and constitute a research field on its own terms. Some of the most prominent issues in that respect are the definition of schemes to jointly manage optical and wireless bandwidth resources, as well as mechanisms to ensure Quality of Service (QoS) for wireless users across the converged access network.
This workshop aims at providing an insight into the recent developments in both optical and wireless access networks by expert speakers from the industry and academia, based on the FP7 STREP projects ACCORDANCE and COCONUT and the GreenTouch Consortium. More specifically, the current status in PON standardization will be presented, including feedback from the FSAN regarding NG-PON2, as well as the expected requirements for future standards. Then, an outline of the benefits and challenges of the novel OFDMA-PON and UDWDM-PON concepts will be provided. Additionally, optical/wireless convergence related aspects will be highlighted, with emphasis on wireless backhauling via PON networks. The tight networking requirements of a Cloud BS in a virtual RAN will be discussed, along with architectural challenges, potential cloud management solutions and cloud-RAN fronthauling via PON networks. Moreover, recent research efforts for efficient end-to-end data transport via a converged optical/wireless network will be discussed. Finally, a closing panel discussion among all participating partners will take place, reflecting on the workshop presentations and accordingly identifying key research directions and challenges."
The detailed programme of the workshop will be announced soon. For more information about the conference click here

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