What is an optical network?
An optical network is the complete package of a fibre optic cabling network and the complex transmission systems that light up the fibre and create a system that can carry all the digital services we rely on today.
Since the very first fibre optic systems became commercially available in about 1980, optical networks have developed into very complex systems which must provide ubiquitous access to very high data rates. The telecoms industry is under constant pressure to provide optical networks which deliver ever increasing capacity at ever decreasing prices. So how is it done?
How does an optical network work?
Optical networks now use a range of technologies and building blocks to transport potentially Terabits of data over hundreds of kilometres, without needing to convert the signals back into electronic signals. They may involve only a basic point to point link, used for applications such as Data Centre Interconnect (DCI), Fibre to the Antenna (FTTA), 5G backhaul, National Research and Education Networks (NREN), terrestrial Satcom links to and from Satellite earth stations. But core and metro optical networks may use a highly resilient mesh topology, and will employ many complex technologies such as, Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) and Wavelength Selective Switches (WSS) in ROADMs (Reconfigurable Optical Add Drop Multiplexers) that direct the different channels of the DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexed) system to different destinations.
How do you plan and design an optical network?
There is a lot you need to know in order to design, plan and manage optical networking projects effectively and efficiently, in order to deliver high capacity, long distance, and cost-effective communications systems. But that doesn’t mean that you need to leave it to a network equipment manufacturer (NEMs) who might sell you an expensive, proprietary system. The growth in the supply of white box building blocks, available from many component and sub-system vendors, means that now you can put together your own cost-effective solutions
OTT’s optical networking courses will provide you with the knowledge that you need to design your network, specify all the building blocks and understand how they all work together with the characteristics of the dark fibre infrastructure to provide the link with your required capacity.
The foundation Certified Optical Network Associate (CONA) course focuses on fibre optic networks that use either single channel per fibre, or multiple channels using CWDM and DWDM technology, providing typically up to 10 or 25Gb/s per channel and up to 80 channels per fibre. These may include metro networks, core networks, mobile backhaul, Fibre to the Antenna (FTTA), Data Centre Interconnect (DCI), National Research and Education Networks (NREN), terrestrial Satcom links to and from Satellite earth stations, or dark fibre links and long haul systems that also use fibre amplifiers. You can read more about the course and OTT’s own virtual optical networking system, WhizzieKit, on Richard’s Light reflections blog.
You can attend the Certified Optical Network Associate (CONA) training program in the UK, Ireland, USA, Nigeria, South Africa and Oman, where it is is delivered under license by OTT’s approved partners. Some partners are able to deliver the course for your company on your own site. If you are a training organisation interested in becoming a partner to deliver this course in another region, then get in touch with us.