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An Introduction to Optical Networks

Learn about the exciting world of fiber-optics communication, in this free online course.

Publisher: NPTEL
This free online course offers an Introduction to Optical Network and fiber-optic communication. This is an important and fascinating area of study as optical networks serve as the foundation of our connected society, enabling an information superhighway that delivers the internet all across the globe. If you are tech-savvy and love cutting edge technology, then this course is for you.
An Introduction to Optical Networks
  • Duration

    5-6 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






View course modules


This free course is an introductory course on optical networks and provides a basic understanding of how fiber networks operate and how they are beneficial in modern society. An optical network is a communications network where transmission links make up optical fibers, and its architecture is designed to utilise the optical fiber advantages. Optical Networks connects computers and or devices which can generate or store data in an electronic form using optical fibers. Unlike copper cables, optical networks offer much greater bandwidth, free of electromagnetic interference and other undesirable effects. The performance of optical communication systems depends on numerous issues such as geographical reach, network configuration and information. Nowadays, storage networks using the fiber channel typically generate data rates in multiples of gigabits per second. As we evolve as a society, the larger the demand is for online connectivity, the greater is the requirement for bandwidth that optical networks provide. This course will introduce you to the different layers of an optical network and the different network topologies, providing you with information on the different interconnected structures of a local network and the method of connectivity employed.

Next, this course will highlight the SONET frame. Standardization and deployment of SONET (USA) and SDH networks (Europe and Japan) and its purpose. The emergence of second-generation networks considers a new level in a layered network model, the optical layer, and is used by SONET and IP network components. You will learn how optical interconnects are used to address current and forthcoming needs for the transfer of large data volumes, in an ever-growing data centre. You will also be taught about the front haul network, the common public radio interface, and why the wireless community needs to agree on a standardized universally accepted source. Those taking this course will gain an in-depth understanding of the functions of an optical network and how this may be implemented. You will gain insight into how an optical network can work together with IP-based network infrastructure, to ensure both high reliability and performance. Additionally, you will obtain a greater understanding of why network protection is essential and how you can secure your network to overcome disruptions like fiber cuts, delay of service or interruptions due to catastrophic events like flooding or fire.

Finally, optical networks support a wide range of communication services including domestic services, business services, and portable services. This course is suited for individuals who are responsible for ensuring business continuity by learning how to perform maintenance work on the systems, and knowing how to troubleshoot systems to isolate and replace component failures. Fiber optics is a part of our everyday lives, now more than ever. Every individual in modern society, at some point, used a service or device that is more than likely powered by an optical network. During the past year, many people have opted to work from their homes or be homeschooled. It provides a safer environment than the traditional workplace or classroom scenarios that we are accustomed to. Careers in fiber optics can range from hands-on work installing, repairing and or servicing a network to designing new and better ways to create the optical threads that transmit data. If you are interested in a career in engineering, networking, installation or repairing, this course is for you! Why wait? Enrol today!

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