GPS reference timing signals are widely used to synchronize communications for modern networking equipment like cellular base stations, allowing them to use limited bandwidth more efficiently and coordinate smooth hand offs. The recent proliferation of small cells for cellular service has increased the demand for GPS timing distribution, but this has not come without complication.
GPS systems typically consist of an active rooftop antenna, a GPS receiver and a length of coaxial cable to connect them. A challenge arises, however, when the distance between the rooftop antenna and the cellular base station equipment (usually in the basement) is greater than 300 ft. Coaxial cable runs of over 300 ft are not practical for most GPS receiver systems, so a fiber optic link is required at these or greater distances, and Optical Zonu’s fiber optic links are some of the most trusted and cost-effective links in the industry.
Optical Zonu offers multiple technical options to fit all customer needs:
The Optical Zonu GPS Product Family
|GPS Fiber Transport System >>
Our carrier-grade GPS Fiber Transport System provides a transparent and secure RF connection between your GPS antenna and receiver for distances from 100 ft to 5 miles, and it can be split optically to distribute the GPS RF signal to multiple locations.
Developers / Single-Link Operators
|Standalone Modules >>
Compact, cost-effective GPS RF-over-fiber link for small sites and developers who need fiber components as part of a larger system.
|J-Series Modular Fiber System >>
Customizable solution for mixed services applications.
For board-integrated solutions and developers: 3 Ghz Component >>
More about Optical Zonu’s GPS over Fiber Links
Optical Zonu’s GPS over Fiber links are designed with the unique, exacting demands of major carriers and power users in mind. That’s why they are, first and foremost, reliable, simple to deploy, and cost-effective.
• Simplicity: The internal LNA preamp of our links ensures the proper RF levels into the fiber link so no adjustments are needed. Plus, an internal bias-T provides the needed DC power for the GPS antenna. This means you have an easily installed, drop in replacement, for coaxial cable for any length of cable you may need.
• Supports Any Architecture: Our GPS over Fiber for network links can be optically split or daisy chained to provide a GPS Rf signal to multiple locations.
• Signal Purity: Extending a coaxial connection beyond 300 ft and up to 1500 ft requires the use of RF up and down conversion – a process that has the potential for adding phase noise and jitter that would seriously degrade the integrity of the GPS signal. The RF-optical conversion process has negligible impact on the GPS signal quality making it the reliable choice for any application beyond 300 ft.
• Minimum Added Time Delay: The propagation delay through optical fiber is around 1.7 ns/ft. Other than this, the delay through the fiber optic equipment (transmitter and receiver together) is < 1 ns. These are easily calibrated out with a timing advance entry into the GPS receiver.
• Cost-effectiveness: These GPS over fiber links and systems are priced to fit the budgets of typical small cell deployments. The simple installation with no adjustments ensures a minimal cost of labor.
• Reliability: Optical Zonu has a large installed base of RF over Fiber systems with a very high record of reliability.
• International GPS Frequencies: Optical Zonu’s GPS over fiber links and systems feature broad bandwidth (47 MHz to 2.7 GHz) to ensure support of all signals in the GPS band
• Flexible Architecture can support distribution for up to 128 timing clients from a single antenna.
• Proprietary (Pat. 9,917,638 & 10,257,739) Redundant and reporting solution enable high reliability and easy installation.