This article presents a converged 5G network infrastructure and an overarching architecture to jointly support operational network and end-user services, proposed by the EU 5G PPP project 5G-XHaul. The 5G-XHaul infrastructure adopts a common fronthaul/backhaul network solution, deploying a wealth of wireless technologies and a hybrid active/passive optical transport, supporting flexible fronthaul split options. This infrastructure is evaluated through a novel modeling. Numerical results indicate significant energy savings at the expense of increased end-user service delay.
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