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With the growing demand for bandwidth, next-generation telecommunication service providers are migrating towards a converged packet-switched infrastructure extending from the core to edge of the network. This evolution is particularly evident within mobile networks where operators are attempting to reduce operational costs. Such cost reductions are accomplished by introducing an IP/Ethernet based infrastructure which extends from the Mobile Switching Center (MSC) all the way to the radio basestations at the network edge. Although the migration towards such next-generation mobile backhaul architecture provides significant benefits, it also presents a number of challenges to service providers. One of the key challenges is to ensure critical synchronization of all network elements is maintained when migrating from circuit-switched (i.e., TDM, SDH/SONET) to packet-switched (i.e., IP) technologies.
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