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TQA: Introduction to wide area networks
This online course explains the principles of operation, capabilities and features of various types of Wide Area Network and describes the requirements of different types of traffic and how these can be met.
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Those joining or planning to join the telecommunications or ICT sectors in a technical role.
An understanding of the basic principles of data communications over packet-switched networks. It is recommended that the PTT course "Data communication principles" is studied before attempting this course.
By the end of this course you will be able to:
- describe the principles of operation of the various types of network that transport traffic over wide areas with reference to the concepts of circuits and virtual circuits.
- describe and compare the various methods of providing wide area connections with reference to TDM and WDM leased lines, and virtual circuits based on the use of label switching (MPLS).
- explain the concept of, and benefits offered by, a virtual private network (VPN).
- explain the concept and role of tunnelling in the provision of a VPN over the Internet.
- describe the facilities, role, and benefits of a virtual private LAN service (VPLS).
- describe the transmission characteristics and requirements of WAN applications such as file transfer, and telephone and video services with reference to bandwidth requirement, latency, and the effects of errors.
- describe the cause of impairments such as delay and errors.
- compare the ability of TDM and packet-switched networks to provide the sustained bandwidth and low delay required by voice and video traffic.
- explain the principles, benefits and limitations of various error detection and correction techniques.
- explain the meaning, relevance and application of the terms "Quality of Service" and "Class of Service" as applied to packet switched networks.
- compare the ability of Frame Relay, MPLS, Carrier Ethernet and 4G/5G mobile systems to offer an assured Quality of Service.
- describe the factors that determine the design of wide area networks including quality of service requirements, access to data centres and cloud services, and security implications of access to the Internet.
- explain the concept, benefits and applications of software defined networking (SD-WAN).
Number of modules: 5
Approximate study time: 6 hours
Download and view the course specification in Adobe PDF format
Delivery platform requirements:
To access the course, a computer running a browser such as Google Chrome, Safari etc is required. The computer should have Internet access. A screen resolution of at least 1024x768 is necessary.