RAD introduces Distributed GM offering to reduce cost and complexity of LTE backhaul

June 24, 2013

2 Min Read

MAHWAH, N.J. -- Recognizing that the delivery of accurate timing to small cell base stations is one of the major challenges facing LTE operators, RAD has enhanced its Service Assured Access solution for mobile backhaul networks by introducing Distributed GM™, a distributed Grandmaster functionality that significantly reduces the cost and complexity of LTE and LTE Advanced backhaul. Distributed GM will be officially launched at LTE World Summit 2013 in Amsterdam.“Distributed GM simplifies the entire architecture of synchronization in LTE backhaul networks because it provides an alternative to the two existing solutions, both of which are problematic,” states Ilan Tevet, Service Provider Line of Business head at RAD. One existing approach is to co-locate a GPS receiver at each base station. But this will not be economical for LTE networks, which will see an exponential growth in the number of cell sites, including small cells, each covering a relatively small slice of the area covered by a single 2G/3G base station. Moreover, LTE base stations are much smaller than their 2G/3G counterparts, and in many cases they will be unable to host a GPS receiver, either because there is no room or because there is no clear sky view to a satellite, or both. Beyond that is the simple matter of economics: Purchasing, installing and maintaining a GPS receiver at every LTE base station will quickly become prohibitively expensive. The second option available to operators is to deploy a Grandmaster clock with IEEE 1588 functionality at a central site to transmit timing across the entire backhaul network to all remote base stations. This solution, however, requires an upgrade of a high number of intermediate network elements to facilitate IEEE 1588 message propagation (via capabilities such as Boundary or Transparent clocks) in order to minimize end-to-end Packet Delay Variation (PDV, or jitter) and guarantee the high quality of synchronization required by LTE base stations. RAD Data Communications Ltd.

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