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Enabling High Quality Sync Signal at 2G/3G Mobile Network Sites

Introduction

A large UK mobile operator wanted to backhaul from the edge of its network using Ethernet rather than using a third party managed service. Their core timing infrastructure was already installed and supported by Chronos who were subsequently selected as their partner to provide timing to the edge of their network using the Ethernet timing Precision Time Protocol (PTP) transport technology.

One of the early challenges was that the in-built PTP client in the cell site gateway did not perform to requirements so as well as core infrastructure and upgrade, Chronos also delivered time into the cell sites by installing and commissioning Microsemi’s TimeProvider 500. This also meant the mobile operator’s edge timing infrastructure was brought under the same management as its existing core timing, simplifying processes and maintenance and improving the ability to manage end to end quality.

Steve Newcombe, Account Manager with Chronos said “Having already installed Microsemi’s SSU2000, Chronos added the IEEE 1588 PTP Grandmaster server blades, enabling the SSU 2000 platform to deliver carrier class PTP thereby meeting demanding NGN packet timing requirements.” He added “Chronos also upgraded the TimePictra software to version 4 which supports PTP.”
With trusted timing provided by the TimeProvider 500, the mobile operator can be confident that the air interface on its base stations communicates efficiently with the mobile phones.

Quote from the carrier:

"Even with a massive upgrade our testing had shown the cell site gateway would not perform under all predicted circumstances. Using Chronos and Microsemi as an end to end timing solution ensured excellent performance with the minimum of fuss".

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