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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), 5G, dark fibre links, DCI, core links Core networks, ultra long haul, undersea, terrestrial backhaul, Mobile backhaul, DCI
Types of job roles Planner, project manager, operations, network manager Network architect, Network designer, Optical Network Engineer
Pre-requisites none as this is a foundation level course CONA 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 25Gb/s 40G, 100G, 200G, 400G, 800G
Multiplexing ITU-T fixed grid 50 & 100GHz DWDM, CWDM ITU-T G.694.1 Flexgrid, Superchannel, polarisation multiplexing
Modulation formats OOK, NRZ, RZ QPSK, DQPSK, DP-QPSK, DP-16QAM, DP-64QAM
Detection Direct detection Coherent & differential phase detection
Infrastructure & components Fibres, cables, connectors, splicing, ODFs, ILM, OTDR, fibre characterisation, transceivers Pluggable modules, Amplifiers, ROADMs, Dynamic modules
System performance & management BER, OSNR BER, Q-factor, EVM & constellation diagrams, OSNR, in-band OSNR, FEC and DSP diagnostics
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...