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Which course is for me?

Use this table to help you decide whether the Certified Optical Network Associate (CONA) course or Certified Optical Network Engineer (CONE) course is the right one for you. It will depend on your job role and previous experience and on what type of network or applications you are working on.

Networks, roles and pre-requisites

Types of networks Metro, Mobile backhaul (FTTA), dark fibre links, core links Core networks, ultra long haul, undersea, terrestrial backhaul
Types of job roles Planner, project manager, operations, network manager Network architect, core network designer, photonic specialist
Pre-requisites none - this is a foundation level course CFCE/CONA or foundation modules, and some experience of optical systems

You can use this table if you want to check which technologies are covered on which course.


Data rates Up to 10Gb/s 40G, 100G and beyond
Multiplexing ITU-T fixed grid 50 & 100GHz DWDM, CWDM ITU-T G.694.1 (2012) Flexgrid polarisation multiplexing
Modulation formats OOK, NRZ, RZ QPSK, DQPSK, 16-QAM, OFDM etc
Detection Direct detection Coherent & differential phase detection
Infrastructure & components Fibres, cables, connectors, splicing, ODFs, ILM, OTDR, fibre characterisation, transceivers Passive devices, active devices, transceivers, pluggable modules
System performance & management BER, OSNR Q-factor, in-service measurements
Optical power management Power budgets, loss budgets, EDFAs Power penalties, FEC, Raman amplifiers, non-linear effects
Dispersion management Optical dispersion compensation, DCMs, DSCM, FBG-DCM Electronic dispersion compensation
PMD Limits and basic calculations EDC & dynamics of polarisation effects
Topology Point to point, optical add & drop Mesh all optical, ROADMs, NG-CDC-ROADMs

Because we all know it is good to learn...