25G for 5G: A Quick Guide to CPRI and eCPRI

25G for 5G: A Quick Guide to CPRI and eCPRI

Champion ONE’s newly expanded portfolio of 25G optical transceivers offers a broad range of solutions for planned 5G deployments. While we explored the WDM solutions for wireless fronthaul on Monday, today we take a look at some of the other technology that is likely to play a prominent role in 5G networks: eCPRI and CPRI-10.

The New Old CPRI

Wireless telecom engineers will surely be familiar CPRI, or Common Public Radio Interface. CPRI has been the protocol of choice for fronthaul communications between towers and base stations through several generations of wireless networks, primarily due to its critical low latency.

As shown in the table above, CPRI line rate option 10 is the newest standard introduced by has finally become a plausible option for deployment, due to the tremendous bandwidth expansion 5G requires to fulfill its potential.

What Is eCPRI?

Despite the introduction of this higher line rate, concerns arose about CPRI’s ability to truly handle 5G use cases with maximum efficiency and capacity utilization. Furthermore, its ability to support advanced networking features is limited compared to mainstream packet transport standards.

Enter eCPRI.

eCPRI is a standard protocol stack that was first introduced in 2017 to directly address some of CPRI’s limitations. eCPRI lowers latency and jitter for high-priority traffic. It also adds efficiency to 5G fronthaul networks; it features a tenfold reduction of required bandwidth compared to CPRI. Furthermore, its traffic can be carried on an Ethernet network alongside other traffic in the same network.  Lastly, eCPRI features a functional split inside the PHY layer which keeps most functionality in the BBU. This requires less equipment on the tower itself and allows for more rapid introduction of advanced networking features without changing out the radio equipment.

If you would like to learn more about how to get the most out of your planned 5G deployment, you can schedule a complimentary consultation with Champion ONE experts today.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin