Conference paper Open Access

Analysis and Evaluation of End-to-End PTP Synchronization for Ethernet-based Fronthaul

Igor Freire; Ilan Sousa; Igor Almeida; Chenguang Lu; Miguel Berg; Aldebaro Klautau

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 challenge is when the involved network switches 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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