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This paper investigates the timing tolerances of ultra wideband communications (UWB). We quantify the BER sensitivity to timing offsets under various operating conditions and system setups, including AWGN and frequency flat channels, dense multipath fading channels, and different receiver types such as a sliding correlator and RAKE receivers. Through analyses, we illustrate that the reception quality of a UWB system is highly sensitive to both acquisition and tracking errors. In particular, direct-path channels exhibit little tolerance to the tracking error, while for dense multipath channels, the energy capture capability of a RAKE combiner can be severely compromised by mis-timing.