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Microsemi GNSS Master Solves Small-Cell Synchronization Issue

February 26, 2015  - By

Microsemi-IGM-Solution-WMicrosemi Corporation¬†is offering a new¬†Integrated GNSS Master (IGM) solution for small-cell synchronization. The IGM is the company’s first solution that fully integrates a 1588v2 PTP grandmaster with a GNSS receiver and antenna in a small, fully contained package, designed to mount indoors.

The Microsemi IGM solves the challenge of indoor synchronization, which has been a significant hurdle for cost-effective small cell indoor deployments.

According to the Small Cell Forum, 80 percent of small cell needs are for indoor use. Microsemi expects the company’s new IGM to revolutionize indoor small cell deployments by eliminating the need for an antenna on the rooftop along with expensive power, cabling and installation costs associated with connecting the GNSS antenna to the 1588 grandmaster in a typical small-cell deployment.

IGR reports that the cost to deploy a small cell is approximately $31,000 on average and much higher than the cost of the small cell itself. Similarly, the cost of deploying a GPS antenna on a roof is typically $15,000 to $25,000 and can go up to $60,000 in high-rise buildings, in addition to the roof rental expense on a yearly basis.

The Microsemi IGM eliminates the need for an outdoor antenna and therefore significantly reduces the purchase, installation and maintenance deployment costs for typical GNSS antenna systems. The sensitive GNSS receiver and patented Microsemi timing algorithms result in an indoor GNSS timing solution that can be deployed in many different indoor environments.

The IGM uses Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) to simplify installation by utilizing standard Ethernet within a facility and requires no more than 12.95 watts of power directly from the Ethernet cable. The IGM is mounted on the wall or ceiling, connected to the network via PoE, and the unit will automatically self-configure, lock to GNSS signals and provide precise frequency and phase with its 1588v2 PTP grandmaster needed for small cell operation.


“The IGM product introduction is a continued commitment from Microsemi to address market and customer challenges in timing and synchronization,” said Eric Colard, director of marketing and business development for Microsemi’s Frequency & Time Division. “The IGM solution complements our flagship timing products and will work with them in tandem to provide a truly end-to-end timing and synchronization solution.”

“Deploying small cells indoor to provide better coverage and enhance capacity is becoming a priority for operators,” said Richard Webb, Analyst, Mobile Backhaul, at Infonetics, recently acquired by IHS. “The challenge of tight synchronization requirements for LTE has been difficult to solve; Microsemi’s IGM innovative solution enables mobile operators to precisely synchronize small cells indoor and lower deployment costs.”

“The time is right for such an innovative and disruptive solution as IGM from Microsemi,” said Earl Lum, president, EJL Wireless Research.¬†“Since Small Cells for indoor are now being readily deployed, Microsemi solves a critical cost issue and technical challenge operators are facing. The compact form factor, plug and play capability, and scalable client support of the IGM product hits the sweet spot for indoor small cell projects.”

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