Abstract

In this Letter, we experimentally demonstrate an unamplified analog RoF distribution of 60 GHz 5G signals. The system entails the heterodyning of two optical tones from an externally injected gain switched laser (EI-GSL) based optical frequency comb to generate a millimeter wave (mmW) signal. A fixed frequency separation and a high level of phase correlation, between the EI-GSL comb lines, results in the generation of a high-quality signal. An active demultiplexer is used to filter and amplify two comb tones, thus alleviating the need for an external optical amplifier to boost the low power comb tones. Furthermore, the same demultiplexer is also used to modulate one of the tones with a 64-QAM UF-OFDM signal. Such an approach enables the remote generation of a mmW downlink data signal as well as an unmodulated RF carrier that could be used to downconvert the mmW signals to an intermediate frequency. Using the abovementioned scheme, we demonstrate the distribution of the downlink signal over 25 km of fiber, achieving a BER of ${2.4{\rm e} - 3}$ (below the HD-FEC limit of ${3.8{\rm e} - 3}$) and only a 0.5 dB penalty at the FEC limit in comparison to the BtB case.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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