Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Performance of low-cost radio-over-fibre systems

Das, Anjali (2008) Performance of low-cost radio-over-fibre systems. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94296) (KAR id:94296)


The research presented in this thesis has focused on the use of radio-over-fibre (RoF) technology for improving the quality of mobile/wireless coverage within buildings. The primary aim was to minimise overall system costs by employing commercially available components. For this purpose, a distributed antenna system using low-cost vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) operating at 850 nm and multimode fibre (OM1/OM2) has been designed and implemented.

A detailed link budget analysis has been performed which allows for the prediction of maximum achievable ranges for the transmission of different wireless systems over the RoF link, while taking into account practical restrictions that are important for bidirectional link operation (e.g. crosstalk and noise emissions). The analysis indicates that when optimised component parameter values are utilised, reasonable cell sizes may be achieved for systems such as GSM, UMTS and WLAN. The link budget predictions were verified for the transmission of ‘real’ WLAN signals over the designed RoF link and complete coverage of a standard office room was demonstrated.

The majority of previous research into low-cost RoF links has primarily involved characterisation of the optical path. In this investigation, signal strength and throughput measurements were conducted for the combined optical and wireless paths in order to verify the operation of the complete fibre-fed WLAN system. Throughput values close to 5 Mbps for IEEE 802.11b and 20 Mbps for IEEE 802.1 lg were recorded. Additionally, the transmission of different combinations of emulated mobile/wireless systems in a dual-band configuration over another radio-over-fibre link (also employing 850 nm VCSELs and MMF) has been successfully demonstrated.

Experimental investigations have been carried out for the first time to analyse the performance of WLAN-over-fibre networks using different MAC mechanisms such as fragmentation and the use of RTS/CTS in the presence of hidden nodes. Finally, scenarios involving multiple clients accessing a single remote antenna unit and multiple remote antenna units being fed by a single access point have been demonstrated.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94296
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering > TK6540 Radio
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Engineering and Digital Arts
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2023 10:06 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2023 10:06 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.