Cable and Wireless Synchronisation Planning

Network Planning & Simulation

The Situation:
Due to the growing complexity of the Sync distribution networks for the Energis & Cable & Wireless networks there is a requirement to look at purchasing a Sync Design Tool to alleviate any potential errors in the design of the Sync distribution.
Two possible suppliers were invited to demonstrate their products. Upon receiving the 2 demonstrations it became clear that only the ‘Horsebridge’ Design Tool (Sync Architect) is fit for purpose as the other equivalent does not support the features that the Energis Sync distribution would require.

Horsebridge Sync Architect v4, was chosen as the preferred tool of choice.

This tool offered us many options to allow us to model and war game the network under controlled simulations. The results helped pin point any network issues and allowed accurate network inventory to be captured. This allowed us to confirm the resiliency of our network and often helped the NMC defend the tight SLA’s our customers expected.

During the modeling phase we have requested many enhancements and some new additional features that we wanted to deploy to allow the equipment modeling to take place more accurately and make the model future proof by allowing complex conditional behaviours to be used. Horsebridge’s commitment to these changes was refreshing and proved very fruitful. As the software started to become more complex but most of all more user friendly, the network simulations started to show significant issues with our network under fault conditions, which helped the NMC identify issues before they became an issue.

  • This data assisted asset management.
  • Helped defend the tight SLA’s our customers expected.
  • Confirm the resiliency of our network
  • Provided Timing tree data at a touch of a button (No there tool does this to date!)
  • Risk management process has reduced from ½ day with 60% accuracy without Sync Architect and now 2-3 hours with 90-100% accuracy depending one network model.

The additional features requested allowed the design team & NMC to test this network by comparing the actual network management platform against the Sync tool results on an actual real fault, the sync tool showed the network alarms generated by the tool to be within 95-100% accurate. This helped the NMC identify an intermittent sync switch seen in the northern part of the network, by tracing the SSMB paths we could see an intermittent card failure in London that caused most of the network to propagate SSM values around the network. Using the tool the NMC staffs were able to diagnose the fault within 20-30mins rather than spending weeks chasing rough SSM values around the network.
The revenue streams were protected by using Sync Architect and correctly modeling the file ensured a healthy network was in operation within standard SLA’s.
During recent sync issues within our customer sync network, we used Sync Architect to model another Telco’s sync network to assist both teams resolve long standing sync issue’s that were affected both networks during handover. The tool modeling process was quick due to our excellent training, we were able to model the network quickly and run the simulations, which highlighted several key issues affecting the other Telco, when the alarms were compared to their management systems. We quickly identified a complex timing loop and several incorrectly configured SSMB trails. Again the tool’s ability to understand the logic helped both Telco’s resolve the problem and provides the customer what they expected.

Head of Synchronisation and Transmission Design.
Cable & Wireless

Principal Technical Support Engineer
Transmission, Broadcast & Synchronisation