Next-generation access/mobile networks have set high standards in terms of providing wireless services at high data rates in order to keep up with the vast demands for other mobility and multiple services. Wireless-optical broadband access network (WOBAN) technology, also known as fibre-wireless (FiWi), has uncovered incredible opportunities for the future of next-generation networks because it gets the best of both domains: huge bandwidth provided by the optical fibre and high ubiquity of the wireless domain. The objective of FiWi networks is to integrate the high data rate and long reach provided by optical networks and the ubiquity and mobility of wireless networks, with the target to decrease their expense and complexity. Multiple-input–multiple-output (MIMO) is an inevitable technique for most of the new mobile/wireless networks that are driven by the huge data rates required by today’s users. Consequently, to construct any FiWi system for next-generation (NG) access/broadband networks, an MIMO technique has to be considered. This article presents a comprehensive, contemporary review of the latest subsystems, architectures and integrated technologies of MIMO wireless signals backhauling using optical fibre or fibre access networks, such as passive optical networks (PONs). An overview for FiWi, PONs and MIMO wireless systems is provided. In addition, advanced techniques of accommodating the MIMO wireless signals over optical fibre are explained and compared. Different types of wireless MIMO signals over fibre, such as 5G, WiFi and related transport technologies, are reviewed. Moreover, future research trends are also discussed.
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