Wireless communications networks around the world rely on accurate timing and synchronization from GPS (or GNSS) signals to function properly. The loss of GPS via disruption, manipulation, or equipment failure has been known to disable critical equipment, including macrocells, distributed antenna system (DAS) installations, and small cells.

LTE networks are particularly vulnerable to timing anomalies and often have timing requirements of one microsecond or better. The requirements of 5G are even more stringent. Single-tower timing errors outside of this range have the potential to disrupt communications over a broad local region, and a widespread outage of GPS could potentially render communications inoperable over entire nations.

For DAS and other in-building wireless installations, STL offers the added advantage of timing signals that penetrate most structures, including buildings with low-emissivity (Low-E) windows or metal and concrete siding and roofing. This means that in-building wireless installations that leverage STL can maintain synchronous timing without the need for an external GPS antenna. Femtocells — which are typically found in indoor locations where GPS is not available — also require precision location (to support emergency services) as well as timing, and STL offers both time and location for these devices.

Having a signal that passes through structures is especially important for buildings where securing roof rights, obtaining landlord permissions, or complying with local zoning restrictions are a challenge. An indoor solution for assured PNT also lowers cost, speeds time to market, and reduces the risks of installation and maintenance.

If you have questions regarding PNT requirements or technology, please contact us.

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PNT Concerns and STL Solutions for the Communications Sector