Trimble's New Thunderbolt PTP Grandmaster Clock Changes the Landscape of Small Cell Network Design and Deployment

EDINBURGH, Scotland -- Trimble unveils an addition to its precision time and frequency portfolio to address the synchronization needs of the fast growing next-generation LTE-Advanced and small cell network market—the Trimble® Thunderbolt® PTP Grandmaster Clock (GC).

Trimble value-engineered the industry-standard grandmaster clock, focusing on the features required in next-generation networks, including dual gigabit Ethernet ports and a Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) module port for optical connections. Its low price point enables network architects to move the timing source from the core to the edge of the network, enabling higher phase and frequency precision at the PTP clients.

"Trimble entered this market to expand on our success in GNSS timing solutions for telecom networks," said Karen Guldan, general manager of Trimble's Time & Frequency Division. "The design and development of the GC focused on creating an optimized solution for network providers—at a price point of less than $2,000, it is intended to be a game-changer in small-cell network design. The GC's features provide superior value to service providers."

With flexible network interface protocols and easy integration, Trimble optimized the GC to deliver precise frequency and phase synchronization signals for LTE-Advanced and small cell networks supporting IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP), Network Time Protocol (NTP) and Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) simultaneously. The GC supports up to 250 simultaneous PTP clients and 5,000 NTP transactions per second, making it ideal for small and medium scale deployment.

With a small form factor of half rack 1RU, users may deploy the Trimble GC either indoors or outdoors. In a server room, the Trimble GC deploys in a side-by-side configuration to provide timing redundancy. For outdoor applications, the Trimble GMC also features an extended operating temperature range for use in non-typical networking environments such as a telecom cabinet. The Trimble GC configures for AC and DC power.

The GC was designed to provide continuous availability of traceable time. The GC includes an embedded, multi-GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and Galileo-ready) receiver to generate precise 10MHz and pulse per second outputs. Utilizing the latest in GNSS technology combined with a precision oscillator, the GC provides better than 3 microsecond phase holdover over a 24-hour period.

The Trimble Thunderbolt PTP Grandmaster Clock is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2016.

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