In this chapter, we present various opportunities of using optical wireless communication (OWC) technologies in each sector of optical communication networks. Moreover, challenges of optical wireless network implementations are investigated. We characterized the optical wireless communication channel through the channel measurements and present different models for the OWC link performance evaluations. In addition, we present some technologies for the OWC performance enhancement in order to address the last-mile transmission bottleneck of the system efficiently. The technologies can be of great help in alleviating the stringent requirement by the cloud radio access network (C-RAN) backhaul/fronthaul as well as in the evolution toward an efficient backhaul/fronthaul for the 5G network. Furthermore, we present a proof-of-concept experiment in order to demonstrate and evaluate high capacity/flexible coherent PON and OWC links for different network configurations in the terrestrial links. To achieve this, we employ advanced modulation format and digital signal processing (DSP) techniques in the offline and real-time mode of the operation. The proposed configuration has the capability to support different applications, services, and multiple operators over a shared optical fiber infrastructure.
Part of the book: Optical Communication Technology