Centralized radio access networks (C-RAN) have introduced a different architecture for connectivity between the radio head and the baseband unit (BBU). And though this architecture offers several advantages, such as power, space and cost savings at the antenna site and a centralized location for the BBUs, it also introduces additional testing complexity. The remote radio head (RRH) may be located up to 15 km from the BBU and this, combined with an increase in RRHs to address the anticipated density and bandwidth requirements of 5G, and even LTE-A, presents a significant monitoring challenge.
Given the increased number of RRHs, the distances over which they may be spread from the BBU and the fact that each technician will now be responsible for more RRHs, it is critical that the cost to maintain this fronthaul network be managed carefully.
Centralized (remote) test and monitoring of the fronthaul fiber plant, combined with the ability to analyze RF interferers will be critical to optimal network performance.