Session 1

Session 1: Applications – Needs for Time and Timing – Requirements & Vulnerabilities

Chair: Martin Kingston
  • Mobile radio access networking has been one of the most discussed applications for synchronisation for many years now and the Keynote from Everything Everywhere (the network operator supporting T-Mobile and Orange brands in the UK) showed how this will continue to be the case as the transport further evolves and  new air interface technologies bring new requirements. This was further expanded upon in papers later in the session.
  • Mobile communication is not the only area bringing new challenges, and this was well illustrated by the paper jointly presented by the University of Galway and ESB Networks (the operator of the power distribution infrastructure in Ireland) which described the challenging timing requirements of controlling and monitoring Smart Grid infrastructure.  Broadcasting network infrastructure is also an area of application with growing importance, as highlighted in the conclusions of the B21C study.
  • The “microsecond challenge” was the theme of the conference and much of the panel discussion at the conclusion of the session revolved around this. Certainly there are many applications heading towards a requirement around this order of magnitude (though figures as low as 100 nanoseconds were mentioned too). Is this some fundamentally significant figure that will mark the end of the quest? It seems only time will tell.