Although IEEE 1588 was developed for generic industry use, this has become a game-changing development for mobile carriers. PTP helps take the reins off carriers, allowing them to proceed full bore with their 4G service rollout to eager mobile subscribers. Pure Ethernet delivers the backhaul flexibility, scalability and price structure to accommodate whatever bandwidth growth in users and services, and when enhanced with IEEE 1588 PTP, it delivers the carrier-class synchronization capability that TDM traditionally (and may no longer) provides.
Makers of the various equipment pieces that are required to support mobile backhaul all see IEEE 1588 PTP as a tremendous business opportunity to expand their roles.
This innovation in technology has touched off something of a gold rush in business positioning.
Makers of the various equipment pieces that are required to support mobile backhaul all see IEEE 1588 PTP as a tremendous business opportunity to expand their roles. Manufacturers of routers, base stations, network interface devices (NIDs), global positioning system (GPS) antennas, clock sources, etc. each see the end-to-end, standardized synchronization capability as something that would be easy to build into their traditional pieces of the overall backhaul solution.
Just as the last 18 months have seen a shift to carriers thinking in terms of embracing pure Ethernet as the mobile-backhaul interface of choice, the next 18 months are likely to see winners (and losers) sort themselves out in the gold rush to offer products that create the end-to-end IEEE 1588 PTP capability that in turn enables cost-effective pure Ethernet backhaul.
Continue to Part 4 >>
Jim Theodoras is President of the Board of Directors, Ethernet Alliance, and a columnist for FierceTelecom.