KT and Nokia verify fronthaul technology covering 30 km in commercial networks

By Lim Chang-won Posted : January 24, 2022, 11:01 Updated : January 24, 2022, 11:19

[Courtesy of KT]

SEOUL -- In cooperation with Nokia of Finland, South Korea's top telecom company KT has successfully verified a long-distance fronthaul covering 30 kilometers (18.6 miles), laying the foundation to expand coverage and increase stability and convenience in wireless network operation. Fronthaul technology transmits wireless data signals collected from base stations to the central device.

Fronthaul is defined as the fiber-based connection in radio access network (RAN) infrastructure between baseband units and remote radio head. Flexible fronthaul configurations have become an essential ingredient for balancing the latency, throughput and reliability demands of advanced 5G applications. Next-generation RAN is resulting in increased fronthaul fiber deployment and a greater reliance on multiplexing, virtualization and split fronthaul architecture.

Existing fronthaul supports up to 20km intervals. If a wireless network fails, engineers from the central office should visit regional offices, leading to delays in rapid failure recovery. KT became the first Korean companyy to apply 30km long-distance fronthaul technology to commercial networks in both 5G and LTE. 

KT said its new technology would increase network investment and operation efficiency. "KT will make consistent efforts to research and develop network structures for 6G evolution in the future while configuring a network that satisfies both 5G coverage and quality at the same time," KT's infrastructure research center head Lee Jong-sik said in a statement on January 24.

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