HYBRID OPTICAL WIRELESS ACCESS NETWORKS
Optical and wireless networks were developed initially for different communication purposes and applied in different scenarios. Optical network technology was developed for long-distance and high-bandwidth communications, and wireless network technology for short-distance communication systems that do not require high bandwidth but do require flexibility. In the last two decades, however, due to the insatiable growth of bandwidth demand and the desire of end users for ubiquitous Internet access, optical and wireless communication technologies have been employed in last-mile connections to enhance bandwidth and to enable flexibility and mobility, respectively. Today we are witnessing the convergence of optical and wireless technologies at the access segment of the Internet hierarchy (Figure 5.1).
To date, various optical and wireless access solutions have been developed to address various challenges of access networks, such as broadband service, cost-efficiency, and demand for mobility. For example, passive optical networks (PONs) [1,2] have emerged to replace copper wire access networks for bandwidth enhancement, and IEEE 802.16 (WiMAX) [3,4] has been developed to provide cost-effective and flexible Internet access. Since current optical and wireless ...