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This study introduces a new method for precise timing estimation in OFDM systems. In multipath channels, conventional correlation-based methods experience performance degradation due to channel dispersion. Based on a symmetric correlation property of a preamble, the proposed method is developed to exploit statistical change of a symmetric correlator in the generalized likelihood ratio framework. While achieving superior estimation performance in multipath environments, the proposed method does not require any knowledge of SNR and channel statistics. Simulation results confirm that the proposed method is a suitable tool to provide accurate timing information for OFDM systems over diverse channel conditions.