Millimeter-wave frequency radio over fiber systems: A survey
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In recent years considerable attention has been devoted to the merging of radio frequency and optical fiber technologies aiming to the distribution of millimeter-wave (mm-wave) signals. This effort has given birth to the field of Radio over Fiber (RoF) technologies and systems. This sort of systems have a great potential to support secure, cost-effective, and high-capacity vehicular/mobile/wireless access for the future provisioning of broadband, interactive, and multimedia wireless services. In this paper we present a comprehensive review of mm-wave frequency RoF systems. In our integral approach, we identified the most important figures of merit of an RoF system, which is divided into three main subsystems: Central Station (CS), Optical Distribution Network (ODN) and Base Station (BS). In each subsystem, the most promising technologies are classified: downlink transmission techniques at the CS, ODN architectures, and optical configurations of the BS. The impact of technology choice on the overall system performance is discussed, and the figures of merit are studied and used to assess the subsystem's performance. Finally, we suggest technological opportunities and future developments that should be attracting the attention of researchers and developers. © 1998-2012 IEEE.