Future 5G networks are characterized by three basic ideas: enhanced mobile broadband communications, massive machine-type communications, and ultra-low-latency communications. Any of these requirements needs, to be fulfilled, the implementation of high-efficiency technologies at all levels. This includes some of the costliest mechanisms in terms of computational time and bitrate: information protection solutions. Typical techniques in this area employ complex algorithms and large protocol headers, which strongly reduces the effective baud rate and latency of future 5G networks and communications. This is especially relevant in the access network, which in 5G networks will follow a cloud-based architecture, where thousands of different devices must communicate, before aggregating all those streams to be sent to the backbone. Then, new and more efficient mechanisms are needed in the cloud radio access networks (C-RAN) for future 5G systems. Therefore, in this paper it is proposed a novel information protection scheme for C-RAN architectures based on resonant phenomena in optical fibers communicating the fronthaul and backhaul in 5G networks. Resonant structures and physical nonlinearities generate a chaotic signal which may encrypt and hide at physical level every communication stream in a very efficient manner. To evaluate the proposed mechanism, an experimental validation based on simulation techniques is also described and results discussed.
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