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ADVA scoops ECOC award with pioneering Ethernet technology for 5G fronthaul

Showcase of SDN-enabled 100G Ethernet aggregator for low-latency, time-accurate mobile services voted best demo

ADVA (FSE: ADV) announced today that it has won the Best Demo Award at the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) alongside its partner TransPacket. The joint showcase responds to some of the key challenges networks operators face as they look to support emerging 5G use cases such as augmented reality and mission-critical communication. The proof of concept (PoC) featured pioneering Ethernet technology capable of delivering ultra-low and deterministic latency for time-sensitive services. The demo was funded by the 5G-PICTURE project, part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

“What we’ve demonstrated here is a way to use Ethernet to deliver time-sensitive fronthaul and less sensitive backhaul traffic over the same infrastructure to unleash the full potential of 5G. For mobile operators, the main obstacle to this is achieving very precise time synchronization and controlled latency. With this award-winning showcase, we’ve presented a way to overcome that barrier and deliver the service quality necessary for advanced radio access technologies such as carrier aggregation, transmitter diversity, and multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antenna systems,” said Jörg-Peter Elbers, SVP, advanced technology, ADVA. “By prioritizing Precision Time Protocol (PTP) information and fronthaul traffic while using best-effort gap-filling for backhaul traffic, we’ve been able to attain both low latency and high timing accuracy at 100Gbit/s aggregate capacity.”
Working together with the ADVA team, we’ve taken a major step towards tomorrow’s Ethernet and the next generation of mobile connectivity.
Steinar Bjørnstad, CTO, TransPacket

The live demo featured an ultra-low latency Ethernet network for converging 10Gbit/s fronthaul and backhaul traffic over a single 100GbE trunk link. This was enabled by ultra-low latency aggregation of fronthaul services together with a best-effort aggregation and transport of backhaul services. Precise synchronization delivery was also an essential feature. Key to this was the OSA 5410, a compact and cost-effective timing distribution and assurance device from ADVA’s specialist synchronization company, Oscilloquartz. With TransPacket’s FUSION IP used for bounded delay aggregation and fixed-delay transmission, the 100Gbit/s Ethernet aggregator was able to meet the stringent latency requirements necessary for 5G fronthaul.

“One of the reasons our joint PoC stood out from the crowd was its originality and simplicity. By augmenting Ethernet with our gap-filling scheme, we were able to deliver converged time-sensitive mobile front- and backhaul services along with ultra-precise timing information. Key to this was the use of deterministic latency to guarantee the lowest packet delay variation through multiple network transport nodes,” commented Steinar Bjørnstad, CTO, TransPacket. “What’s exciting about the technology showcased here is that it’s ready to be implemented in a Carrier Ethernet switch or router. This live demo is the result of close collaboration with our 5G-PICTURE ecosystem partners. Working together with the ADVA team, we’ve taken a major step towards tomorrow’s Ethernet and the next generation of mobile connectivity.”