A Software-Defined Programmable Testbed for beyond 5G Optical-Wireless Experimentation at City-Scale

Tingjun Chen, Jiakai Yu, Arthur Minakhmetov, Craig Gutterman, Michael Sherman, Shengxiang Zhu, Steven Santaniello, Aishik Biswas, Ivan Seskar, Gil Zussman, Dan Kilper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Wireless traffic will significantly increase in next-generation networks. Therefore, there is a need for novel optical network front-/mid-/backhaul (x-haul) architectures that can deliver ultra-high bandwidth and ultra-low-latency services to wireless and edge cloud systems, as well as support various cloud radio access network (C-RAN) architectures. Designing and evaluating such architectures requires large-scale experimental platforms. In this article, we present the design and implementation of a unique, remotely accessible, disaggregated, and programmable optical network as the key component of the city-scale PAWR COSMOS advanced wireless testbed. We discuss the design and implementation of a dedicated multi-functional Ryu software-defined networking (SDN) controller for the testbed's optical network wavelength channel assignment and topology reconfiguration. We present an example use of the SDN controller for monitoring and automated measurement of the wavelength-dependent amplifier gain in deployed reconfigurable optical add/drop mul-Tiplexer (ROADM) units. We also demonstrate a pilot experiment focusing on a wireless handover scheme for C-RAN architectures in the COSMOS testbed, where high traffic volume can be supported by dynamic wavelength allocation via optical switching in the fronthaul. The field-deployed testbed and SDN controller can be used by the research community to push the envelope in the area of optical networks for beyond 5G and 6G.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-99
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Network
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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