PTA Issues ‘Telecommunication System Clock Synchronization Regulations’

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued regulations for all telecom operators to synchronize the clock, time, date of telecommunication systems for error free data recovery, accurate reconciliation of Call Data Record and Internet Protocol Records.

The regulation has been named as “Telecommunication System Clock, Time, and Date Synchronization Regulations 2010,” which has been made public recently.

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.

All licensees shall be obliged to align their frequency of their telecommunication system in accordance with the Primary Reference Clock (PRC)* and Synchronization Supply Unit (SSU)** for provision of error free data of intelligence transmitted over various network nodes, the regulation stated.

All licensees with high speed backhaul networks shall have at least two alternative sources of PRCs.

The telecom operators shall be obliged to maintain frequency of their telecommunication systems containing NTP (Network Time Protocol) secondary server at least NPTv4 complaint wherever applicable. They shall be obliged to upgrade their telecommunication systems as and when are required by authority, it stated.

The operators are asked to provide complete information of their telecommunication clock system to the authority which includes clock, date and time synchronization architecture and degree of accuracy.

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 a 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.

The operator will provide access to the authorized representative of the authority for obtaining information, inspection and audit of the telecommunication systems network in order to ensure the compliance of parameters as provided in these regulations.

*Primary Reference Clock (PRC): It means an autonomous clock, operating independently of other sources that provide the reference synchronization signal to all other clocks within a network as referred in ITU-T G.811 Recommendation.

**Synchronizations Supply Unit (SSU): It means the logical system for frequency referencing, its processing and distribution as prescribed in ITU-T G.811 Recommendation.

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    • I always find it hilarious when people ask why clocks should be synchronized. But then I remember I live in South Asia, where “meeting at 10am” means someone is always 30-45 minutes late. South Asian time, google it!

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