White Paper: Understanding eCPRI

Apr 3, 2020

5G operators must completely change the design of their MFH and MBH networks to allow scaling supporting the massive increases in data traffic and tight latency requirements. This White Paper discusses the network architecture changes, new frame formats, expected timing, and latency requirements, and why they are required. Understanding the combination of these key areas will provide the background to understanding how these networks will look as this industry moves rapidly to 5G.

Most legacy MFH architectures consist either of the BBU and Radio unit in the hut (building at base of antenna), or the BBU in the hut and the RRH mounted at the antenna top, although some architectures are now moving the BBU up to 15 km or more from the RRH. This architecture uses the CPRI protocol to transmit, which requires very high interface rates to carry low volumes of customers’ data.

The next generation of networks will either handle much more customer data or will use thousands of different small-data connections, which the current network architecture does not support.

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