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Tech breakthrough could cure what’s ailing 5G networks

Bangor University researchers recently made a technological breakthrough that could address 5G networks’ current limitations, the educational institution recently announced. The discovery came as researchers developed a novel Point-to-Multipoint (P2MP) Optical Transceiver. The transceivers typically are used in data communication systems to send and receive signals over a network. The novel P2MP flexible transceiver overcomes prior technologies’ limitations that are the result of simply operating at pre-defined speeds solely over point-to-point transmission systems.

The disadvantage of using traditional optical transceivers is a current network node that accommodates P2MP 5G access networks has to use multiple traditional point-to-point (P2P) optical transceivers in parallel. Each supports a dedicated transmission link. This network deployment and operation approach is deemed inefficient, energy consuming, costly and non-scalable when it comes time to meet the strict requirements of future access networks, including 5G-Advance and beyond, according to the university.

Bangor University researchers are currently trying to address these challenges. Researchers have turned their attention to P2MP transceivers, which have shown promise in offering scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solutions that can support multiple low-speed optical transceivers to communicate with a single high-speed optical transceiver for cost-sensitive application scenarios.

“The rapid growth of data traffic driven by the advent of 5G-Advance and beyond networks has created a pressing need for innovative solutions that can transform optical access networks,” Professor Jianming Tang, Operation Director at the DSP Centre at Bangor University and expert in optical communications research, said. “These non-incremental solutions must meet the increasing demands for connectivity density, bandwidth, cost-effectiveness, latency, reliability and security, while reducing capital and operational expenses.

“I am proud that the team at Bangor University’s Digital Signal Processing Centre, together with our colleagues in Shanghai, are making an important contribution to advancements in digital communications technology.

The transceivers can automatically and dynamically “grow” or “shrink,” depending on the network traffic status.

“The breakthrough in P2MP transceiver technology presented in our research paper (Journal of Lightwave Technology) holds tremendous potential for revolutionizing existing optical access networks by transforming their virtual network topologies from P2P to P2MP in a scalable, flexible, low latency, and cost-effective manner,” said Dr. Wei Jin, one of the co-authors of the paper from Bangor University’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering.

“Compared to traditional transceivers, the reduction in transmitter digital signal processing complexity, improved spectral efficiency, and enhanced network security also make this solution highly promising for the future of optical access networks. As we continue to refine and optimize this technology, we can look forward to a new era of efficient and adaptable optical access networks that meet the growing demands of our interconnected world.”

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