Edge master clocks synchronise small cells and LTE networks

February 25, 2013 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Symmetricom® has introduced a portfolio of Edge Master Clocks specifically designed to support small cell deployments for 3G and 4G/LTE networks. The TimeProvider® 2700 and 2300 Edge Master Clocks are the industry's first offering of optimized synchronization products that deliver precise time at the network edge, supporting small cell deployments, and improving mobile services experience for end-users.

According to Cisco®'s Visual Networking Index (VNI) for mobile traffic, global mobile traffic is projected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 66 percent for the next five years, doubling 13 times by 2017. In support of the growing demand for mobile data, 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.

"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," said 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 maximizing efficient use of scarce spectrum resources. Precise timing and synchronization ensures delivery of increased network capacity and coverage, and is critical to the successful deployment of small cells.

"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. They enable carrier networks to support