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Nanosecond-level Resilient GNSS-based Time Synchronization in Telecommunication Networks through WR-PTP HA
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  • Alex Minetto ,
  • Benoit Rat ,
  • Marco Pini ,
  • Brendan Polidori ,
  • Ivan De Francesca ,
  • Luis M. Contreras ,
  • Fabio Dovis
Alex Minetto
Department of Electronics and Telecommunications of Politecnico di Torino

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Benoit Rat
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Marco Pini
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Brendan Polidori
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Ivan De Francesca
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Luis M. Contreras
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Fabio Dovis
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In recent years, the push for accurate and reliable time synchronization has become increasingly important in crit?ical infrastructure, particularly in telecommunication networks. The enhanced performance of 5G New Radio and next-generation technologies rely on phase synchronization of Radio Access Network (RAN) nodes, which require sub-microsecond relative timing errors. Atomic clocks, integrated with Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) timing receivers, have been deployed in timing networks as Grand Master Clocks (GMCs). However, this solution does not scale well with the growing number of interme?diate nodes in current RANs. A more affordable and distributed solution is needed for scalability and time synchronization. GNSS timing receivers are a cost-effective solution providing stable reference clock signals, but a proliferation of GNSS antennas can expose the network to malicious radio-frequency attacks. This research proposes a solution for stable and resilient GNSS?based network synchronization, using the White Rabbit Precise Time Protocol and a timing source backup logic in case of timing-disruptive attacks. The solution was tested against popular jamming, meaconing, and spoofing attacks and was able to maintain 2 ns relative synchronization accuracy between its nodes under any of the tested attacks, without the support of an atomic clock.