Friday 9 February 2024

Resilient Timing for Critical National Infrastructure

Critical infrastructure requires precise timing to operate. This reliance makes the infrastructure vulnerable to disruptions in timing that can be either intentional or unintentional. Intentional disruptions can be caused by GNSS jamming or spoofing or network attacks.. Unintentional disruptions are usually caused by equipment failures or acts of nature.

Back in April 2022, Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) hosted a webinar on this topic, a precursor to the Annual Workshop on Synchronization and Timing Systems (WSTS). The webinar featured top industry experts delivering insight into the latest techniques for adding resilience and robustness to timing infrastructure. It covered the most critical topics in timing resilience, including:

  • Redundancy
  • Holdover
  • Management
  • Monitoring
  • Alternative reference time sources

Examples address networks used for critical industry applications such as:

  • Power grids
  • Telecommunications
  • Finance systems
  • Broadcast/media

The video of the webinar as follows:

Experts participating in the webinar and their presentations are as follows:

Please feel free to share other useful resources on this topic in comments.

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Wednesday 24 January 2024

UE Assistance Information in LTE and 5G

I have been asked about the UE Assistance Information (UAI) RRC message a few times before. Generally I have always pointed people back to the LTE/5G specifications but here is a concise video that the telecoms technology training company Mpirical have shared recently:

If you want to dig further into details then please see the RRC specifications: 36.331 for LTE and 38.331 for 5G. 

Over the years I have added quite a few short tutorials from Mpirical on this blog, do check them out below.

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Tuesday 9 January 2024

Technological Complexification and The Return of Magic

I have been meaning to share this video/presentation by Patrick Scannell for quite some time now. Pat Scannell is a technology and telecom industry consultant who is a world leader on 5G and the co-evolution of technology and cognition, specializing in innovation and commercialization of emerging technologies across a wide range of industries.

At the IEEE International Symposium on Digital Privacy and Social Media 2022, Pat gave a talk titled 'The Return of Magic: Technological Complexification'. The outline of the talk says: 

Today’s tech is characterized by rapidly accelerating complexity, both in the densely layered technology itself but also in the increasingly hyper-specialized people who are needed to build it. But each person who builds it, and certainly most people who use tech, have a diminishing ability to understand how the whole of the techno-ecological niche we have created for ourselves (what I term ‘the return of magic’).

The case for this argument is outlined and then shows that the problems associated with this phenomenon are amplified by an inherent characteristic of a complex system - the lack of ability to know, understand, and predict system outcomes.

Against the broad scope of human history, the result of these forces could represent a reversal of a trend that started in the Enlightenment, but it also has very specific and actionable consequences on the day-to-day work of the tech industry and on Digital Privacy of our customers.

This talk aims to frame the problems, but in a constructive way that allows us to begin to build and adopt better technology, which could scaffold a better human experience.

The talk is embedded below, thanks to IEEE TV:

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