Enabling the transport of fronthaul traffic in next-generation cellular networks [fifth-generation (5G)] following the cloud radio access network (C-RAN) architecture requires a redesign of the fronthaul network featuring high capacity and ultra-low latency. With the aim of leveraging statistical multiplexing gains, infrastructure reuse, and, ultimately, cost reduction, the research community is focusing on Ethernet-based packet-switch networks. To this end, we propose using the high queuing delay percen-tiles of the G/G/1 queuing model as the key metric in front-haul network dimensioning. Simulations reveal that Kingman's exponential law of congestion provides accurate estimates on such delays for the particular case of aggregating a number of evolved Common Public Radio Interface fronthaul flows, namely functional splits and II D . We conclude that conventional 10 G, 40 G, and 100 G transponders can cope with multiple legacy 10-20 MHz radio channels with worst-case delay guarantees. Conversely, scaling to 40 and 100 MHz channels will require the introduction of 200G, 400G, and even 1T high-speed transponders.
5g; c-ran; delay percentiles; ecpri; fronthaul networks; g/g/1; kingman's exponential law of congestion