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What is the difference between CWDM4 and FR1?
Knowledge Base + 2024.01.10

CWDM4 (Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing 4) and FR1 (Frequency Range 1) are terms used in the context of optical communication, specifically in the development of 5G networks. They refer to different aspects of the communication infrastructure. 

  1. CWDM4 (Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing 4):

    • Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM): CWDM is a technology that allows multiple data streams to be transmitted simultaneously over a single optical fiber, with each stream using a different wavelength.

    • Number of Wavelengths: CWDM4 specifically refers to four wavelengths within the optical spectrum that are used for multiplexing signals.

    • Application in 5G: CWDM4 is often associated with the fronthaul of 5G networks, where it enables the transmission of multiple signals (e.g., from remote radio heads) over a single fiber optic link.

  2. FR1 (Frequency Range 1):

    • 5G Frequency Bands: FR1 is a term used in the 5G specifications to denote the frequency range used for the deployment of the initial 5G services. It covers frequency bands below 6 GHz.

    • Frequency Bands in FR1: FR1 includes frequency bands such as Sub-6 GHz bands, which are crucial for providing wide-area coverage and better penetration through obstacles.

    • Application in 5G: FR1 is fundamental to the early phases of 5G deployment, providing a balance between coverage and data rates.

In summary, CWDM4 refers to a specific technology used in optical communication, particularly in the context of 5G fronthaul, where four different wavelengths are multiplexed over a single fiber. On the other hand, FR1 is a term used in 5G to describe the frequency range below 6 GHz, which is important for the initial deployment of 5G services, offering a balance between coverage and data rates. They are related to different aspects of the overall 5G infrastructure.