FSO-based vertical fronthaul/backhaul framework for 5G+ systems

Mohamed Alzenad, Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir, Halim Yanikomeroglu, Mohamed-Slim Alouini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

305 Citations (Scopus)
163 Downloads (Pure)


The presence of a super high rate, but also cost-efficient, easy-to-deploy, and scalable, backhaul/fronthaul framework is essential in the upcoming fifth-generation (5G)wireless networks & beyond. Motivated by the mounting interest in the unmanned flying platforms of various types including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), drones, balloons,and high-altitude/medium-altitude/low-altitude platforms(HAPs/MAPs/LAPs), which we refer to as the networked flying platforms (NFPs), for providing communications services, and by the recent advances in free-space optics (FSO), this article investigates the feasibility of a novel vertical backhaul/fronthaul framework where the NFPs transport the backhaul/fronthaul traffic between the access and core networks via point-to-point FSO links. The performance of the proposed innovative approach is investigated under different weather conditions and a broad range of system parameters. Simulation results demonstrate that the FSO-based vertical backhaul/fronthaul framework canoffer data rates higher than the baseline alternatives, and thus can be considered as a promising solution to the emerging backhaul/fronthaul requirements of the 5G+ wireless networks,particularly in the presence of ultra-dense heterogeneous small cells. The paper also presents the challenges that accompany such a novel framework and provides some key ideas towards overcoming these challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-224
JournalIEEE Communications Magazine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'FSO-based vertical fronthaul/backhaul framework for 5G+ systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this