The human brain is an amazing thing, but when it comes to digesting information there is a complex equation at work balancing the quantity and quality of the information received, its complexity and the time needed to take it on board. Get the equation right and you maximise understanding, get it wrong and the overload results in some serious attenuation!
When OTT launched the Certified Optical Network Engineer (CONE) course back in April 2008 it was already a fairly busy one week course. But ever since, fed by my involvement in International standards committees, attendance at technical conferences such as OFC & ECOC and from my communications with people and companies leading the industry, we have been continuously updating the course to cover all of the developments that are shaping the future of telecoms networks. And, as readers of this blog will already know, there is a vast range of very complex technologies that are now being deployed and developed to meet the challenges of delivering ever more data at ever lower costs. And so the CONE course grew and it grew and it grew. More delegates began to tell me “this should be a two week course” or “maybe a month”…..and also it became apparent that the delegates attending the course had an increasingly different range of training needs. A rethink was definitely in order….
Reorganised and restructured and with new material, we will now be offering two separate one week courses, the new Certified Optical Network Associate (CONA) foundation course and a revised edition of the Certified Optical Network Engineer (CONE) course which will now concentrate on the advanced technologies.
So what’s in CONA?
From our detailed analysis of the technology and the systems being deployed, and taking into account the typical entry levels of candidates, there is a fairly natural break point at 10Gb/s where the most cost effective systems are. So the scope of the introductory level CONA course is set to include all the technologies and the issues involved with the systems that operate at up to 10Gb/s per channel, and may have up to 16 CWDM channels per fibre in metro networks and up to 40 or even 80 DWDM channels per fibre in core networks.
These are the types of systems that are being deployed extensively in metro and regional networks and that are often used for dark fibre connections and for putting fibre to mobile phone base stations (FTTA: Fibre to the Antenna).
Optical Network Planners, Project managers, Operations and Network Managers for these types of networks, need to address issues such as loss and power budgets, chromatic dispersion management and polarisation mode dispersion. They also need to understand the interactions between the way in which the system operates and the infrastructure that it operates over and appreciate what infrastructure test methods and fibre characterisation are needed in order to check the quality of existing infrastructure. The CONA course is designed to cover all of these things.
And what’s in the new CONE?
So the new edition of CONE becomes a more advanced course for those that need to be fully up to speed with all the latest developments in the industry. As data rates go up to 40Gb/s, 100Gb/s and beyond, then things become a lot more complex. Optical Network Architects, Core Network Designers, and Photonic Specialists need to deal with complex systems including those with modulation formats such as DP-QPSK, where two orthogonal polarisation states carry separate channels of information, each of which has the data coded into the phase state of the light wave, rather than just turning the light on and off! These systems need coherent detection at the receive end and extensive digital signal processing to recover the data. Above 100Gb/s then options include n-QAM and OFDM where superchannel transmission and the requirements of increased spectral efficiency are likely to mean a break away from the traditional ITU-T DWDM grid. More issues arise with increased channel count and power levels, with non-linear effects to consider too. And not forgetting that latency issues are important for some applications as well. Networking flexibility and lower operational costs can be achieved using multi-degree ROADM technology to create meshed networks, and the next generation of CDC (&G?) ROADMs are already on the drawing board. The new CONE course is designed to help guide delegates through all of these issues and explain how they relate to and affect each other.
Which one is for me?
If you’d like a quick comparison highlighting the key differences between the CONA and CONE courses you’ll find one here.
More information is available from firstname.lastname@example.org or call me or drop me an email if you have any questions on the content of these courses. Dates and venues for public courses are on the website. If you’d like me to run a closed course for your company then call me to discuss it.