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Transmode Debuts Fronthaul Muxponder at BTE

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Light Reading
6/17/2014
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CHICAGO -- Light Reading's Big Telecom Event -- Transmode, a global supplier of packet optical networking solutions, today announced the availability of a new Fronthaul Muxponder that is optimized for transport of multiple CPRI and Synchronous Ethernet services over a single 10G wavelength. The device has been evaluated and type-approved during a lab test event by Orange Labs, a division of a major European incumbent operator, for CPRI and Ethernet transport.

Available now as part of the TM-Series R23 release, the new Fronthaul Muxponder is based on Transmode's existing and widely-deployed Multi-Service Muxponder. The new unit provides even better latency performance than the previous unit and both units provide significantly better synchronization performance than comparable products to support the demanding specifications required for CPRI transport. The new unit also supports both macro and small cell applications through the mix of CPRI and Synchronous Ethernet transport over the single wavelength.

Mobile fronthaul, and CPRI transport generically, requires extremely high performance for latency and network synchronization. These demanding performance criteria mean multiplexing multiple CPRI signals onto a single higher-speed wavelength is very challenging and most solutions are unable to meet the required performance level. This new muxponder has been independently evaluated and type-approved during a lab test event by Orange Labs using third-party RAN equipment from multiple vendors. The tests showed that the end-to-end solution, including muxponder based CPRI transport, meets the 3GPP requirements and exceeds the required performance levels.

The new Fronthaul Muxponder supports either 3x CPRI-3 (2.5G) plus 2x SyncE or 3x CPRI-4 (3G) plus 1x SyncE over a single 10G wavelength. The unit also includes a high level of networking functionality such as inbuilt line protection and G.709 FEC. It also has latency performance as low as 7 microseconds, which is industry-leading for a muxponder and a key parameter in CPRI transport.

Sten Nordell, Transmode's Chief Technology Officer, commented, "While it is undoubtedly early days for mobile fronthaul, the technology is starting to gain traction. Asia is currently leading the way but operators across the globe are evaluating how they will use fronthaul networks to support Centralized-RAN and ultimately Cloud-RAN architectures.

"No two deployment scenarios are the same so having a wide range of options including passive and both transponder- and muxponder-based active solutions is critically important to network operators. We are delighted to be enhancing the solutions available in the market and to be leading the way in terms of fronthaul and CPRI transport over WDM."

Transmode's Mobile Fronthaul solution provides network operators with a range of high performance options for both small cell and macro cell applications, including a totally passive WDM option, a semi-passive option that adds both network and individual optical channel performance monitoring, and two active WDM options. The active options include an ultra-low latency (sub-4 nanoseconds) multi-rate transponder option that now utilizes the recently-announced high-density "hex" transponder units and a muxponder based option, which now uses the new Fronthaul Muxponder unit.

Transmode Systems AB

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