Evolution of Sync in Telecom, 5G and Beyond
Due to the surge in data traffic requirements, service providers are migrating their backhaul to packet switched networks. The conventional transport networks have been built on TDM technologies. With the increase in the demand for the data traffic, these networks have been adapted to carry data traffic. As the proportion of the data traffic continuously increased, carriers’ effort to migrate to a pure Ethernet network was hindered by the lack of synchronization of the network elements. Synchronization is especially important in cellular networks during cell handoffs. Improperly synchronized networks would suffer from several problems.
5G is the fifth generation of mobile internet connectivity. It succeeds the 4G (LTE/WiMax), 3G (UMTS) and 2G (GSM) systems. 5G performance targets high data rate, reduced latency, energy saving, cost reduction, higher system capacity, and massive device connectivity. The 5G transition plan, once complete, would overtake communications infrastructure unlike any other in history. When we think about 5G, we think about 10 gigabits per second throughput, we talk about virtually zero latency, we think about 1000 times more data volumes in the networks. To achieve all these, there is a need for exploring different approaches to target the needed use-cases in 5G networking.
This paper explores the evolution of synchronization in telecom, technologies that provide synchronization, brief on 5G and challenges present in providing support for 5G in networks. Four different approaches for achieving 5G will be explored, along with the pros and cons. Use-cases for the different solutions will also be presented.