We consider the performance of a hybrid radio-over-fiber distribution system with a remote phase-locked loop (PLL) providing the local oscillator for upconversion to millimeter (mm)-wave frequencies. The reference signal for the PLL is transmitted together with digitally modulated subcarriers over a fiber link, allowing centralization of radio processing. Through analysis and simulation, we identify the relationship between the phase noise requirement for the PLL and the data capacity of the fiber link. For a practical link, we provide an upper limit on system capacity for transmission of 16 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) subcarriers.
Griffin, R. A., Salgado, HM., Lane, PM., & O’Reilly, JJ. (1999). System capacity for millimeter-wave radio-over-fiber distribution employing an optically supported PLL. Journal of Lightwave Technology, 17(12), 2480-2487. https://doi.org/10.1109/50.809666