Backhaul Research Note: Fronthaul trends in the small cell era
The term ‘fronthaul’ is gaining importance in the industry as the common way to name the connection between the two main parts of a cellular base station, namely the baseband unit and radio unit.
Historically a coaxial cable was used to connect the base station radio, located inside the cabinet, and its corresponding antenna, located at the top of the communication tower. By separating baseband and radio unit, it was possible to bring the latter closer to the antenna, with the benefit of transporting baseband samples over a fiber cable between the two units. This completely removed any RF power loss along the path from the ground to the top of the tower.