Feature Article

February 28, 2012

Symmetricom Explains the Importance of Timing

In comedy, timing is everything. According to Symmetricom, the same is true in networking.

Manish Gupta, vice president of marketing and business development at Symmetricom, tells MobilityTechzone that synchronization is “the heartbeat of every network.” If that heart skips a beat, it can lead to call handoff problems, jittery video and other adverse affects.

But, as with comedy, it’s no small task to get timing right when it comes to the network. And network timing is becoming more complex, he says, as we move from TDM-only networks to more heterogeneous environments and to IP and other new infrastructure technologies.

Meanwhile, he adds, the rise of small cells is moving synchronization from the core and edge of the network to home- or office-based customer premises.

And LTE calls for far more precise timing; for some LTE flavors, he says, timing requirements are as low as half a microsecond.

All that said, it’s ideal if service providers can put timing mechanisms in all parts of their networks, says Gupta. To enable timing to be as widespread as possible, Symmetricom continues to expand its ecosystem of companies in which Symmetricom timing technology is embedded. The company previously announced Broadcom, Freescale and PMC Sierra as its processor partners. And this week at Mobile World Congress it brought FPGA company Altera into the ecosystem.

However, Gupta says, even if service providers deploy timing throughout their networks, events sometimes arise that create timing challenges. To guard against such instances impacting the customer experience, Symmetricom offers additional timing assurance with its Rubidium Holdover feature.

Gupta adds that in terms of broader company strategy, Symmetricom expects to announce in short order efforts to help drive its top-line growth.

Symmetricom also recently announced the successful completion of IPv6 tests demonstrating interoperability between network elements, LTE eNodeBs and synchronization master clocks. The testing involved Symmetricom's grandmaster clock connected to Alcatel-Lucent's switches, routers, and LTE base stations.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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