Online courses in telecommunications technology may cover basic electronics, individual components of telecommunications systems and how components work together. These courses teach students how to design, optimize, monitor and manage small and large-scale telecommunications networks.
Telecommunications technology programs generally offer classes in both wireline and wireless systems; wires and fiber optic cables that connect switches, computers and other components are the backbone of every network, while wireless communication and wireless networks require dedicated technologies and pose their own unique management challenges. Some courses will be part of an engineering track aimed at students who plan to become technicians. Others will be part of a management track for students seeking to become higher-level supervisors and administrators.
Online Telecommunication Technology Courses
The course descriptions below detail some commonly offered courses in telecommunication technology.
- Fundamental Telecommunications Concepts: This is a foundation course in the concepts, history and major technologies of telecommunications. It provides a broad look that prepares students for more in-depth, specialized classes.
- Applied Telecommunications Technology: This course explores the hard technology of telecommunications and the telecommunications industry as a regulated environment. Topics covered include analog and digital signaling and signal types, switching, modulation, multiplexing, telephony, data transfer and network standards.
- High Speed Information Networks: This is a course examining the architecture, protocols and application of high speed networks, their maintenance and the challenges of managing their growth. Frame relays, high speed LANs and WANs and emerging applications are among the topics covered.
- Emerging Technologies: Whether as theoretical concepts, laboratory prototypes or improvements to existing protocols, new technologies are constantly in development. This course aims to acquaint students with those that are nearly ready for wider deployment and those that may be in 10-15 years.
- Cellular and Wireless Technologies: A baseline introduction to wireless networking concepts, interfacing issues and cellular digital protocols, such as FDMA, TDMA and CDMA. Students also learn about first generation analog systems, paging systems and satellite communications.
- Advanced Cellular and Wireless Systems: Students take this course for an in-depth review of cellular and wireless systems. Study topics include wireless local loop (WLL), wireless LANS (802.11), wireless data transmission, second generation packet-based technologies, such as GPRS and EDGE, and third generation systems.
- Wireless Network Performance Management: This is a course on the operation and maintenance of major functional elements in mobile wireless networks, radio access networks and core backbone networks and the trade-offs network managers must make between performance and reliability. Life-cycle analysis and the challenges of migrating to new technologies are also covered.
- Next Generation Wireless Systems: Students take this course for a broad look at both the hardware requirements and architecture of emerging wireless network technology standards and the applications and services they may enable. The course gives particular emphasis to rival third generation standards UMTS and CDMA2000, their evolution and the global markets in which they compete.
- Network and Internet Security: This course is designed to teach students about security systems used in telecommunications. Throughout the course, students will learn about the design and function of various security systems for voice and data networks. Topics discussed may include firewalls, authentication processes, and virtual private networks, among others.