PTA plans to synchronise telecom networks
By Muhammad Yasir
KARACHI: Pakistan Telec-ommunication Authority (PTA) has planned to synchronise the telecom licensees’ network in order to minimize the discrepancies that may appear in the data of time and date of calls and voice traffic, which causes problems in reconciliation and billings.
The telecom authority has intended to frame a regulation in this regard to be named as “Clock Synchronization Regulations 2010” after consultation with all stakeholders. These regulations shall apply to all Long Distance Interconnects (LDI), Landline (LL)/Cellular mobile/CVAL Data licensee for the purpose of synchronization of their system clock to ensure fair reconciliation of call detail record (CDR) and IP detail record (IPDR) data in line with the criterion/ratings determined by the PTA from time to time.
PTA’s draft of regulation specified two parts of the system; one relates to synchronizing of the system clock for error free data recovery while the other part ensures that the date and time stamps are accurate for billing reconciliation purpose.
There are two common methods of clock recovery. One based on independent highly accurate clock (atomic clock) while the other is based on a clock recovered through Network.
Synchronization Supply Unit (SSU) shall be deployed to ensure reliable synchronization distribution wherever it is required. It is a logical function for frequency referencing, processing and distribution, having the frequency characteristics as per ITU-T G.812 Recommendation, PTA draft mentioned. Clock of the telecom networks can also be synchronised using Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers. Strata refers to the hierarchal levels used by NTP to disseminate time information over a network.
It is further explained that networks synchronised using NTP servers shall have a stratum level that is one level higher than the reference clock. Each higher level of stratum (providing relatively lesser accuracy) provides a delay of 10-100 milli second. All NTP secondary servers must be fully NTPv4 complaint.
PTA suggested that all LL/LDI/CMTOs licensees shall compile and submit information regarding, clock, synchronization source, degree of accuracy and stratum level in case synchronised using NTP servers.
The licensee shall maintain a record of their clock synchronization test for (03) years. This record shall, at all times, be open to inspection and audit by the authority or representative of the authority. Date and time stamp clocks used for CDR/IPDR generation should be accurate up to 100msec. synchronise their date and time stamps with a standard International NTP or GPS. Their system shall be re-synchronised at least once a week. The network with whom they are interfacing should also conform to all the regulations. Their system clock shall not deviate more than one second per week. That unrestricted access to PTA officer designated is available during routine normal business hours.
On the basis of PTA findings and/or at least 10 complaints filed to the PTA against a licensee in one month, the authority shall initiate an investigation process through an nominated officer.
The PTA will conduct manual test/inspections that may be replaced with an automated process subject to the availability of advanced tools. It may place the relevant data for public information. PTA’s designated division shall present the test results to its board within a period of 30 days from completion of the Date and Time verification survey process.
Source: Daily Times