Igor Freire, Ilan Sousa, Aldebaro Klautau, Igor Almeida, Chenguang Lu, Miguel Berg
2016 IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM), Washington, DC, USA, 2016, pp. 1-6.
Publication year: 2016

Provisioning of cost-effective Ethernet-based fronthaul by reusing the LAN infrastructure available in most commercial buildings is challenging predominantly in terms of the required bandwidth and synchronization. In contrast to a synchronous fronthaul, a PTP-based Ethernet network must cope with estimation noise introduced by packet delay variation (PDV) for synchronization recovery. The SYNC packet used for PTP on such networks is expected to suffer from significant PDV due to the fronthaul traffic and other background traffic. Further challenges are met when the switches adopted in the network do not support PTP and therefore synchronization can only be done by end-devices. Focusing on this scenario, this paper analyzes the problems that may affect the time offset estimation accuracy and presents schemes to mitigate these problems. The performance is evaluated through a self-developed FPGA-based testbed and the results suggest that the end-to-end PTP approach can fulfill the less strict time alignment requirements of 3GPP standards if PDV is handled properly.

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