Measuring precision protocol wander by evaluating time sync variation

11th October 2021
James Anstee

Anritsu Corporation has added a function for precision protocol (PTP) wander, a metrics for evaluating frequency variations as low as 10 hertz to the PTP network time synchronisation error to the company's smallest-in-class 100Gbps Network Master Pro MT1000A.

5G networks require high real-time communications supporting anticipated new services in various industries, such as autonomous vehicles, smart factories, telemedicine, etc. PTP wander is a key index expressing long-term time synchronisation stability. Adding this improved time sync measurement to the MT1000A will play an important role in assuring 5G network quality.

Development background

Due to their advantages of ultra-high speeds, high reliability and low latency, and multiple simultaneous connections, 5G communications networks are spreading into various use scenarios.

Of these, high-reliability and low-latency communications are key features for implementing various industrial use cases, such as autonomous vehicles, smart factories, telemedicine, and so on. Applications using these mission-critical technologies demand the smallest possible communications latency to facilitate equipment peer-to-peer communications at the highest speeds in almost real time, while also requiring precision time synchronisation between each equipment.

Additionally, implementing low-latency communications requires support for MEC architectures in 5G networks, and precision time synchronisation is essential to achieving communications between MEC systems distributed at each site.

Implementing time synchronisation uses network technologies called SyncE and PTP and assuring high accuracy and high stability synchronisation using these technologies is linked to operators’ service quality guarantees about high speeds and low latency.

Anritsu has been building instruments with built-in jitter and wander test functions to measure instabilities in networks ranging from the SDH/SONET era to modern transport networks, contributing to development of core and metro networks. Based on this long experience and high-level technologies, the company has now added this new time error PTP wander measurement function to MT1000A time synchronisation measurements. Measuring wander supports quantitative evaluation of long-term synchronization stability. In addition, support for measurement of new time-synchronisation networks called PTS will help assure customers’ service quality guarantees, claimed Anritsu.

Product outline

The MU100090B is a GNSS disciplined oscillator supporting the GPS, QZSS, Galileo, Beidou, and GLONASS. It can receive signals from each artificial satellite system and outputs UTC (coordinated universal time)-traceable reference time and 10MHz frequency signals. This reference timing is supplied to the portable MT1000A supporting SyncE and PTP up to 25Gbps to measure network time synchronisation accuracy.

Moreover, combination with the SyncE Wander MU100011A-021 and MU100090B software options facilitates ITU-T-recommended pass/fail evaluation of network-supplied Ethernet frequency accuracy.

When used with the Site Over Remote Access MX109020A software, multiple MT1000A units located at separate sites can be remotely operated and monitored from a central office to support speedy troubleshooting when synchronisation problems occur.

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