web analytics
skip to Main Content
Optical networking

What is an optical network?

An optical network uses complex transmission systems which run over fibre optic cabling, to carry all the digital services we rely on today.

The very first fibre optic systems became commercially available in about 1980. Today optical networks have developed into very complex systems which provide 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 basic point to point links, used for applications such as Data Centre Interconnect (DCI), Fibre to the Antenna (FTTA), 5G mobile 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 an optical network?

There is a lot you need to know in order to 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.

Learn to plan an optical network

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.

OTT CONA course logoThe 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.

OTT CONE course logoThe Certified Optical Network Engineer (CONE) course builds on the foundation provided by the CONA course. It tackles the requirements for designing high performance networks. You’ll learn about the fundamental limitations that apply & the trade-offs & compromises to be made, so that you can make strategic decisions about the long-term plans for your network.

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 these courses in another region, then get in touch with us.

I'd like to learn to design and plan optical networks

Back To Top