MWC 2013: Symmetricom helps synchronise small cells and LTE networks

Edge Master Clocks are optimised to deliver precise time at the edge of the network, which will help service providers to improve service delivery to end-users by increasing performance at the edge of the network

MWC 2013: Symmetricom helps synchronise small cells and LTE networks

Symmetricom, a provider of precision time and frequency technologies, has introduced a new portfolio of Edge Master Clocks specifically designed to support small cell deployments for 3G and 4G/LTE networks.

The Symmetricom TimeProvider 2700 and 2300 Edge Master Clocks are the industry's first offering of optimised synchronisation solutions that deliver precise time at the network edge, supporting small cell deployments, and improving mobile services experience for end-users. 

Rising data demands mean that major wireless carriers are deploying small cells to boost capacity and enhance coverage in metropolitan areas where people congregate such as sporting venues, shopping and dining districts.

Small cell synchronisation

‘The advent of small cells in the mobile network increases the complexity of synchronization. Small cells need to be synchronized within the tight tolerances of precision defined by the standards and required for delivery of end user services,’ explained Jennifer Pigg, vice president, Yankee Group. ‘Moving master clock capability to the edge will help satisfy several requirements that mobile operators tell us are critical for improving service delivery and performance at the edge of the network where bandwidth is needed the most.’

Mobile operators benefit from small cell deployments by delivering increased coverage and capacity to end-users, while maximising efficient use of scarce spectrum resources. Precise timing and synchronisation ensures delivery of increased network capacity and coverage, and is critical to the successful deployment of small cells.

Capacity boost

‘Small cells are necessary to increase capacity and coverage required by data hungry customers who continue to consume data as a part of their mobile lifestyles,’ said Dror Nemirovsky, Head of Packet Networks, Nokia Siemens Networks. ‘The Symmetricom Edge Master Clocks complement the investment our customers have made in the TimeProvider 5000 and enable Nokia Siemens Networks to serve operator requirements for increased network performance as they deploy LTE.’

The TimeProvider 2700 and 2300 Edge Master Clocks are IEEE 1588 (PTP) synchronization solutions designed to meet the deployment requirements for small cells in current networks by locating a grandmaster at or near the edge, or by overlaying the network with advanced boundary clocks at specific locations.

LTE-TDD and LTE-A support

They enable carrier networks to support LTE-TDD and LTE-A stringent requirements for frequency and phase synchronization without having to replace existing equipment in the backhaul network.

In frequency synchronized networks (LTE-FDD, as well as 2G/3G), Edge Master Clocks can be deployed to eliminate timing issues caused by the backhaul network and high packet delay (PDV) environments inherent in Carrier Ethernet networks.

The TimeProvider 2700 and 2300 Edge Master Clocks provide service reliability, deployment flexibility and unified manageability. Multi-sync capability ensures service continuity in the event of loss of one or more of the primary sync signals or the GNSS signal is compromised.

Small to large network deployment

The solution is also optimised for deployment in small to large networks with license options supporting between 8 and 64 base stations and/or small cells, allowing for network scalability. Symmetricom clocks are managed by a cohesive management system TimePictra(R), which provides end-to-end visibility of the entire synchronisation network.

Service providers are able to extend the benefits of their existing investment in the industry's TimeProvider 5000 Grandmaster and TimePictra Management System with the TimeProvider 2700 and 2300 Edge Master Clocks.

The TimeProvider 2700 and 2300 enable frequency and phase synchronisation at the network edge, which is critical to successful small cell deployments, and offers the industry's first end-to-end synchronisation solution for small cell and LTE networks.  

The Edge Master Clocks in the new portfolio are:

TimeProvider 2700 Edge Grandmaster Clock:

  • Primary reference time clock (PRTC) compliant with G.8272 performance requirements
  • Allows adoption of G.8275.2 partial on-path support
  • Flexible inputs: GPS / GLONASS, PTP, T1/E1, SyncE
  • Outputs: PTP, T1/E1, SyncE, 1PPS ToD

TimeProvider 2300 Edge Boundary Clock:

  • Partial on-path support compliant with G.8275.2
  • Eliminates need for GPS / GLONASS everywhere
  • Flexible inputs: PTP, T1/E1, SyncE
  • Outputs: PTP, T1/E1, SyncE, 1PPS ToD

‘Small cells synchronization is a multi-faceted challenge and requires an innovative approach,’ said Manish Gupta, vice president of marketing and business development for Symmetricom. ‘The TimeProvider 2700 and 2300 Edge Master Clocks are specifically designed to meet the scalability, performance, reliability and cost requirements for synchronizing small cells at the edge of the mobile network.’

Written by Wireless magazine
Wireless magazine

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