MWC 2015: RAD Demonstrates IEEE 1588 Grandmaster

March 2, 2015  - By

Photo: RAD

Telecom company RAD will be expanding the timing synchronization capabilities of its Service Assured Access (SAA) solution when it introduces MiCLK, an IEEE 1588 grandmaster clock with a built-in GNSS receiver.The grandmaster clock is SFP-based (small form-factor pluggable).

RAD is demonstrating the MiCLK at Mobile World Congress 2015, being held this week in Barcelona, Spain.

“LTE and LTE-A’s stringent synchronization requirements and the growing use of small cells in 4G networks create synchronization challenges in the backhaul segment, but existing solutions are either too expensive or do not provide full network coverage,” said Ulik Broida, RAD’s vice president of marketing and business development. “With the revolutionary MiCLK, RAD makes it easy to upgrade existing backhaul networks to support LTE-A at an affordable price.”

Many network operators prefer to use IEEE 1588-2008 (also known as Precision Time Protocol, or PTP) and synchronous ethernet to deliver accurate frequency and time throughout 4G backhaul networks. They are reluctant to install GNSS at every cell site because of practical and cost reasons, as well as concern about possible GNSS jamming and spoofing. However, accurate time distribution requires every network element between the time reference — the grandmaster — and the cell site to support IEEE 1588. This could be an expensive and complex endeavor when the grandmaster is located in a central PoP. “MiCLK allows network operators to avoid costly upgrades by bringing the grandmaster to the base station,” said Broida.

RAD’s patent-pending MiCLK is a miniature pluggable device that responds to the needs of next-generation cellular backhaul networks, the company said. Its SFP design allows simple installation to upgrades any network device with a fully featured IEEE 1588 grandmaster, including a GNSS receiver and various redundancy options to sustain its operation in case of GNSS failure, RAD said.

“Easily installed with minimal technical intervention, MiCLK is a versatile add-on anywhere in the network,” Broida concludes. “It is a valuable addition to mobile equipment vendor portfolios, and an ideal solution for 4G service providers in search of a quick, cost-effective way to bring accurate synchronization to small cell backhaul.”

RAD  is exhibiting at Hall 2, Stand 2D50 at Mobile World Congress.