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On the Suitability of VLC Enabled Fronthaul for Future Mobile Network

Mufutau, A. O ; Guiomar, F. P. ; Fernandes, M. ; Oliveira, A. ; Monteiro, P.

On the Suitability of VLC Enabled Fronthaul for Future Mobile Network, Proc Conference on Telecommunications - ConfTele ConfTELE, Leiria, Portugal, Vol. , pp. 1 - 4, February, 2021.

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/ConfTELE50222.2021.9435598

The quest to meet diverse services and applications that are emanating from the increasing inter-connected devices including machine-to-human communication has brought about consideration of massive deployment of small cells for fifth generation (5G) and Beyond network. With densification of small cells, mm-wave and THz frequencies play significant role in delivering mobile services. Consequently, supporting radio frequency (RF) communication with visible light communications (VLC) link exhibits potentials to ameliorate the challenges of RF communication especially bandwidth limitations and interference. Capitalising on the strength of VLC, we propose a basic end-to-end system to experimentally evaluate the suitability of VLC as fronthaul using real-time mobile traffic. Successful downlink (DL) transmission was achieved via VLC. To investigate the performance of the VLC link, transmission signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and throughput of the VLC and RF Links are measured and compared. The light emitting diodes (LEDs) and Photo-diodes (PD) have shown to have significant effects on the performance of the VLC link. However, the results establish a fundamental premise for the suitability of VLC as fronthaul for small cell network.