CT7140 - Broadband Networks (2015/16)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2015/16, but may be subject to modification|
|Module title||Broadband Networks|
|Module level||Masters (07)|
|Credit rating for module||20|
|School||Faculty of Life Sciences and Computing|
|Total study hours||200|
|Running in 2015/16||
Broadband networks (xDSL, cable, PLC, 4G, FTTx, PON, WiMax, LTE, FSO, etc) and the provision of services that they enable (voice, video, multimedia, etc) play a crucial role on economic and social development in both advanced and developing countries. Demand for access to the Internet and multimedia applications continues to increase for both commerce and society. However, there are technical challenges associated with such network traffic as well as for broadband networks and these must be overcome in order to facilitate the continues deployment of high bandwidth access network technologies to support this high level demand. Through this module, the student will understand all technical aspects and limitations associated with broadband networks and will be able to analyse requirements, plan, design, simulate (using OPNET) and recommend on best options of broadband access network based on a customer scenario. Students are also prepared for progression onto a PhD programme in a specific aspect of Broadband Networks.
Prior learning requirements
- Familiarise the students with the evolution and deployment of broadband access networks, the various types of technologies available as well as their principle of operation.
- Introduce the various multimedia services provided through broadband networks, the demands imposed on the network by the various types of traffic, and the techniques employed in order to achieve acceptable quality of service and expected quality of experience.
- Enable students to apply channel characterisation techniques on broadband network scenarios according to demands imposed, and advice on appropriate source and channel coding, access protocols and multiple access technologies.
- Provide expert knowledge on the various types of carrier networks and broadband access techniques.
- Develop and facilitate students’ abilities in planning, designing, simulating, evaluating and recommending broadband networks based on customer requirements.
- Understand the professional, legal and ethical, economical and global environmental issues through the development of Broadband Networks
• Broadband Access Networks: Telecommunications evolution, multimedia services, standards, convergence and interoperability, IP networks, technologies, deployment, next generation (access and home) networks.
• Traffic Characterisation: Types of traffic (voice, data, images, video, etc.), multiservice traffic, bandwidth considerations, quality of service, quality of experience.
• Channel Characterisation: Propagation phenomena, path loss, shadowing, noise, interference, multipath propagation, fading channel, etc.
• Coding: Source and channel coding, code efficiency, broadband network coding, etc.
• Protocols: TCP, UDP, RTP, RTCP, etc
• Multiple Access Technologies: TDMA, FDMA, CDMA.
• Carrier Networks: SONET/SDH, carrier Ethernet in metro area networks, etc.
• ATM: Networks, congestion control and signaling.
• MPLS: Networks, labels, traffic engineering, MPLS VPN.
• Broadband Access Techniques: Digitals Subscriber Line (xDSL), cable, Power Line Communications (PLC), etc.
• Wireless Broadband: Satellite, WiMax, LTE, 4G, etc.
• Optical Fibre and Components: Optical fibre, light propagation, signal degradation, sources and detectors, amplification, optical power budgeting, Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM).
• Optical Communication Networks: Passive Optical Networks (PON), Fibre To The X (FTTx) and Free Space Optics (FSO).
• Legal and ethical, economical and global environmental issues
Learning and teaching
A series of lectures covers the entire syllabus. An extensive laboratory (hands-on) programme enhances the understanding of the theoretical concepts in their practical context. Prepared material will be used to provide background to many of these issues.
A limited range of appropriate textbooks will be used, however, much of the material will be supported by articles and Internet URLs. Full provision of documents relating to the module, in electronic format, will be provided through WebLearn.
[16 hours] Formal lectures
[32 hours] Laboratory practical sessions (supervised)
[72 hours] Directed independent learning
[40 hours] Directed independent laboratory work (unsupervised)
[40 hours] Computer-aided learning
[200 hours] Total teaching and learning time
On completion of the module the student should be able to:
|LO1:||Demonstrate familiarisation with the evolution of communications and deployment of broadband networks towards the access network, and the multimedia services provided.|
|LO2:||Understand the various types of traffic, whether real time or not, and its demands on networks, expected quality of service and demanded quality of experience.|
|LO3:||Understand and apply channel characterisation on broadband network scenarios according to demands imposed, and advice on appropriate source and channel coding, access protocols and multiple access technologies.|
|LO4:||Differentiate and recommend on the various types of carrier networks (SONET/SDH, Ethernet, ATM or MPLS).|
|LO5:||Differentiate and recommend on the various types of broadband access techniques (wired, wireless or optical).|
|LO6:||Plan, design, simulate, analyse results and recommend on a range of scenarios based on customer requirements on various types of broadband networks.|
The assessment for this module consists of coursework (50%) and Examination (50%).
Coursework (LO2-6): Group (2-3 students) case study based on OPNET design and simulation software package provide a realistic scenario on an aspect of broadband networks. For example, recent group case studies include:
• Design and implementation of three interconnected office networks,
• Critical analysis and implementation of QOS in IP networks,
• Design and simulation of a university campus network architecture,
• Implementation of a VLAN in a campus environment
• Investigation of Firewalls security of a public network.
The group case study reports are assessed both as a group technical report (35%) and as a group oral presentation (15%). The report will be assessed by the completeness of the broadband network plan, design, simulation, analysis of simulated results obtained, and the quality of the documentation produced. The quality of the presentation will be assessed by the content of the presentation and by the students' ability to deal with questions and justify choices made.
Written Examination (LO1-6): This will last for 3 hours and will cover all learning outcomes but with higher focus on those which cannot be covered by the coursework. The examination paper has detailed descriptive and analytical questions examining various aspects of broadband networks.
The examination paper has two sections; one section consists of several short questions examining students understanding of the principles & techniques involved. For example, it may ask about TCP/IP, VPN, multiple access protocols, ATM and Internet traffic. The second section of the examination paper contains long detailed questions asking students to describe, analyse and/or solve problems on specific topics such as multiple access techniques, Optical or ATM networks, multiple access techniques (FDMA,TDMA or WDMA).
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