powered by TMCnet

Wire Speed

Wire Speed Feature

December 03, 2010

Wire Speed: When Considering Synchronization for Mobile Operators�

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Service provider networks are migrating to all-Ethernet and all-IP architectures “in order to support a wide range of multimedia services,” accordingto officials at Xelerated (News - Alert). The challenge, they say, is for mobile operators “to make a seamless transition to these inherently non-synchronous networks while maintaining the precise synchronization required to operate the air interface.”

Synchronization is needed to avoid interference and crosstalk between channels and accurately bill for services -- important wire speed considerations, yes. Consequently, Xelerated officials say, as mobile operators seek to reduce costs by upgrading their backhaul networks to Carrier Ethernet, “they must find some way to preserve the synchronization services currently provided by their legacy TDM architectures.”

Which brings up the interesting question: Given that today’s all-Ethernet and all-IP architectures have been hugely successful and granted these technologies are packet-based and inherently non-synchronous, why would anyone add synchronization to these systems?

Synchronization, Xelerated officials say, “is more than just a design relic of transport technologies from the infancy of digitalized voice. Today’s networks still rely on it.” Cellular systems, for example, require synchronization of wireless frequencies in order to provide seamless handovers, avoid interference and crosstalk between channels, and accurately bill for services.

Because these functions are so fundamental to the mobile infrastructure, base stations, whether 2G, 3G, WiMAX (News - Alert) or future LTE, “will continue to rely on precise time synchronization,” Xelerated officials added. As a consequence, mobile operators seek to reduce costs and increase bandwidth by upgrading their backhaul networks to Carrier Ethernet, “they must find some way to preserve the synchronization services currently provided by their legacy TDM architectures.”

Synchronization services based on the Xelerated Precision Time offering, company officials say, can run multiple methods and modes of operation, “enabling flexible mobile wholesale services, reliable redundant solutions, and flexible interoperability for different deployment scenarios.” Whether based on PTP or Synchronous Ethernet, Xelerated’s Precision Time Solution can deliver wire speed accuracy in the 50 ns range.


David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Erin Monda