ITSF 2013 – “Time for Phase”

ITSF 2013 was held in Lisbon, Portugal on the 5-7 November. The theme of the conference was “Time for Phase”.

The conference examined why it is “time for phase”, the implications and challenges of delivering precise “time” to within a few 100 nanoseconds as opposed to “timing” around a telecom network. It explored vulnerabilities and mitigation solutions.

The ITSF event was the 10th anniversary of the introduction to the Telecoms community of the IEEE 1588 timing technology by John Eidson. We did not know then how important this technology would be as a time transport solution to mitigate vulnerabilities for the yet to emerge broadband mobile networks. I am pleased to announce that John Eidson was the 2013 ITSF Time Lord.

A lot has happened in the industry since that ITSF meeting in London in 2004.  The Standards are still evolving although some have now been formally adopted for 1588 technology.  Manufacturers have adapted it into their product offerings and operators have embraced it and are rolling out infrastructure reliant on 1588 PTP technology to transport time.

This is not the end of the story.  Time or “Phase” will be a critical feature as we move forward to address the phenomenal bandwidth demands of the Tablet and Smartphone user community.

The UK held its 4G auctions in the first quarter of 2013.  Other countries have either already done the same or will be doing so very shortly. The certainty of needing to satisfy the internal investment of the 4G auction activity and need to deliver services demanding precise time synchronisation such as Co-ordinated Multi point is setting the pace for challenging requirements for time synchronisation at the edge of the network.

Prof. Charles Curry, BEng, CEng, FIET
Chairman ITSF Steering Group