A system and method of recovering symbol timing from a high symbol rate TDD or TDMA broadband transmission. A correlator operating at a fraction of the symbol rate receives in-phase and quadrature data signals from a broadband demodulator and processes those signals using a predefined match filter for a pilot signal to detect the pilot signal. The correlator measures any timing error in the symbol timing and adjusts a pointer in a memory buffer to replay the pilot signal to the correlator. Again, any timing error is determined and the pointer in the memory buffer is adjusted for a final replay of the pilot signal as well as the data to the correlator. At this point the timing error in the symbol timing is reduced to a minimum. With symbol timing established, coefficients in an equalizer are adjusted so that the remaining data transmission is properly received.