We explore the advantages that integrated microwave photonics (IMWP) can bring to access networks. We first of all review the most common architectures of radio access networks (RANs) to identify the segments where microwave photonic components and radio over fiber links are located. Then, we provide a short description of the basic principles of IMWP with the aim of illustrating the current state of the art of this technology and its potentials. We discuss the possibilities of incorporating IMWP technology into the RAN front-haul. In particular, we first of all identify the required MWP functionalities and then discuss the feasibility of implementing these in light of the current and near future state of the art.
© 2014 IEEE
Original Manuscript: February 3, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: June 23, 2014
Published: June 27, 2014
José Capmany and Pascual Muñoz, "Integrated Microwave Photonics for Radio Access Networks," J. Lightwave Technol. 32, 2849-2861 (2014)