Optimal fronthaul compression for synchronization in the uplink of cloud radio access networks

Eunhye Heo, Osvaldo Simeone, Hyuncheol Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A key problem in the design of cloud radio access networks (CRANs) is to devise effective baseband compression strategies for transmission on the fronthaul links connecting a remote radio head (RRH) to the managing central unit (CU). Most theoretical works on the subject implicitly assume that the RRHs, and hence the CU, are able to perfectly recover time synchronization from the baseband signals received in the uplink, and focus on the compression of the data fields. This paper instead does not assume a priori synchronization of RRHs and CU, and considers the problem of fronthaul compression design at the RRHs with the aim of enhancing the performance of time and phase synchronization at the CU. The problem is tackled by analyzing the impact of the synchronization error on the performance of the link and by adopting information and estimation-theoretic performance metrics such as the rate-distortion function and the Cramer-Rao bound (CRB). The proposed algorithm is based on the Charnes-Cooper transformation and on the Difference of Convex (DC) approach, and is shown via numerical results to outperform conventional solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22
JournalEurasip Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • C-RAN
  • Fronthaul compression
  • Time and phase synchronization


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