Module Details

CE334-6-SP-CO: Telecommunication Networks And Systems

Year: 2016/17
Department: Computer Science and Electronic Engineering
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No

Supervisor: Dr Nick Zakhleniuk
Teaching Staff: Dr Nick Zakhleniuk
Contact details: School office, email: csee-schooloffice (non-Essex users should add to create full e-mail address), Telephone 01206 872770

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description


The module describes the fundamental principles of telecommunication systems and networks covering both RF/MW and optical fibre communications by a unified approach. Following an overview of modern and future telecommunication networks and an introduction to basic principles of information and its processing in communications, the main transmission and demodulation techniques of the information-carrying analog and digital signals are considered in depth for RF/MW and optical systems.

Lightwave communication systems, their key components and operation principles are discussed next. This provides an integral understanding of how modern communication systems operate at all levels from top to bottom. The analysis is extended to consider multi-channel optical fibre transmission system employing wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) optical technology, the cornerstone of modern photonic networks. Operation of key elements and switching sub-systems such as optical cross-connects (OXCs) and optical add-drop multiplexers (OADMs) and the others are studied in detail.
The concluding part of the module deals with transmission system engineering, including analysis of the effect of various impairments on the system performance, system optimisation, and power budget. Consideration of basic issues of telecommunication network deployment, management and network survivability and protection completes the module.


After completing this module, student will be expected to be able to:

1. Discuss the main features of modern telecommunication networks.
2. Explain the principles of information, its measure, coding, transmission, and detection.
3. Explain signal transmission fundamentals.
4. Describe the main components of lightwave telecommunication systems and their operation.
5. Describe multi-channel optical fibre transmission systems and explain their elements.
6. Discuss transmission system engineering.
7. Explain basics of network deployment and management and network survivability.


Modern Telecommunication Networks:

Telecommunication network evolution. Hierarchical network architectures. Network topologies.
Services. Circuit switching and Packet switching in networks.
Modern and emerging technologies (RF and fibre-optic, channel multiplexing (WDM, TDM)).
Brief overview of optical networks (Generations of optical networks).

Principles of Information:

Concepts of information, messages, signals.
Analog and digital messages. Sampling and PAM. Analog-to-digital conversion (PCM) technique.
Information entropy. Data compression and source coding. Huffman coding algorithm.
Channel coding. Hamming coding algorithm.
Signals and noise.
Channel capacity.
Fundamental limitations of communication systems. Shannon-Hartley law and Shannon bound.

Signal Transmission Fundamentals:

Basic elements of communication systems.
Signals and spectra.
Non-coherent and coherent communication systems (RF/Microwave and Optical Systems).
Principles of modulation and demodulation (detection) of analog and digital signals.
Baseband and bandpass transmission.
Digital modulation techniques (ASK, PSK, DPSK, QPSK, QAM, FSK).
Transmission formats (RZ and NRZ), their advantages and drawbacks.
Demodulation and detection. Noise; SNR; BER in communication systems.
Optical signal processing.

Components of Lightwave Telecommunication Systems:

Main active and passive components of the optical-fibre links and their operation:
(i) Fibres: Waveguiding; Attenuation; Dispersion; Non-linear effects. Recent developments in fibre technology (Photonic crystal fibres; Plastic fibres).
(ii) Optical transmitters: Semiconductor laser diodes (FP multimode laser; DBR and DFB single-mode lasers; Wavelength tunable laser diodes). LEDs. Direct and external modulation of optical signals.
(iii) Optical fibre amplifiers: EDFA; Raman and Brillouin amplifiers.
(iv) Optical receivers/detectors: p-i-n photodiode; Avalanche photodiode (APD).
(v) Optoelectronic regenerators.

Multi-Channel Optical Fibre Transmission Systems:

Optical Time Division Multiplexing (OTDM) and Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM).
WDM network elements:
(i) Optical multiplexers and de-multiplexers.
(ii) Optical filters.
(iii) Optical couplers.
(iv) Optical cross-connects (OXCs).
(v) Optical Add-Drop Multiplexers (OADMs).
(vi) Optical switches. Recent advanced switching technologies: 2D and 3D MEMS; Electro-Optics; Liquid crystals.

Transmission System Engineering:

Impairments in optical links and their effect on signal transmission (attenuation, dispersion, non-linearity, interference, crosstalk).
System optimisation and performance enhancement.
Power budget in communication systems and networks.

Network Management and Network Survivability:

Deployment considerations. Architectural choices. Designing transmission layer: Long-haul networks; Metropolitan area networks (MANs); Access network; Local area networks (LANs).
Network management functions: Performance; Faults; Configuration; Security.
Network survivability: Basic concepts and layer protection

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lectures and classes


30 per cent Coursework Mark, 70 per cent Exam Mark


Progress Test to take place in wk 23, Weighting= 10%, Assignment - Report on Theory and Original Problem Solving, Submitted electronically as a Word document, Weighting= 20%, Submitted to FASER in wk 30

Exam Duration and Period

2:00 during Summer Examination period.

Other information



  • Highly recommended reading
  • CARLSON, A.B. and CRILLY, P.B., Communication Systems, McGraw Hill (5th edn), 2010.
  • PROAKIS, J.G. and SALEHI, M., Digital Communications, McGraw Hill (5th edn), 2008.
  • AGRAWAL, G.P., Fiber-Optic Communication Systems, Wiley, (4th edn), 2010.
  • SENIOR, J.M., Optical Fiber Communications: Principles and Practice, Pearson (3rd edn), 2009.
  • RAMASWAMI, R., SIVARAJAN, K.N., and SASAKI, G.H., Optical Networks: A Practical Perspective, Morgan Kaufman (3rd edn), 2010.