True deploys Huawei’s Atom GPS to improve 4.5G time synchronization

time synchronization
3D clocks

Huawei says that Thai operator True is using Huawei’s Atom GPS to deliver high-precision time synchronization for its 4.5G network.

The time synchronization solution addresses the challenges in traditional GPS deployment, greatly saving the total cost of ownership (TCO), achieving network-wide anywhere clock synchronization, and greatly improving users’ network experience, Huawei said.

True has over 20 million wireless subscribers, and video services are now becoming a basic service. The company’s growing user base places higher pressure on network coverage and higher requirements for network bandwidth, creating huge challenges for its 4.5G network.

To address the challenges, True uses inter-site Carrier Aggregation (CA) to enhance the cell edge coverage and traffic rate. But this requires high-precision time synchronization. A major challenge has been how to handle time synchronization as True attempts to improve its users’ video experience.

Conventionally, two solutions have been used for time synchronization. One is to deploy GPS at each base station, which requires massive GPS deployment, with no obstruction to GPS antennas – this creates difficulties in site selection. The other way is to deploy a hop-by-hop 1588v2 solution on the IP RAN. This requires network-wide support for 1588v2 and hop-by-hop measurement of fiber asymmetry, leading to difficult deployment and high costs.

Meanwhile, there is a new challenge for the mobile backhaul network – how to provide more agile time synchronization for 4.5G.

True opted for Huawei’s Atom GPS time synchronization solution, with Atom GPSs deployed at PRE-AGG nodes and 1588v2 configured for access routers on the IP RAN.

Atom GPS provides high-precision time synchronization for base stations on the live network, and has several advantages over traditional solutions, Huawei said. Compared to GPS deployment at each base station, the Atom GPS solution greatly saves TCO and is not limited by site selection. Compared to hop-by-hop 1588v2, the Atom GPS solution can support 1588v2-incapable networks and is free of hop-by-hop measurement. Also, the Atom GPS solution can be co-managed with the IP RAN to achieve real-time management of the synchronization quality.

Atom GPS is a key technology in Huawei’s IP RAN 2.0 solution, released in 2016 with a focus on allowing users to enjoy mobile video experience anytime anywhere and providing agile O&M.

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