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OTT Certified Optical Network Associate (CONA) logo

Applications for CONA: Metro networks, DCI, FTTA, Utility networks, Fibre for 5G, NRENs, SatcomThe 5-day Certified Optical Network Associate course introduces optical networking and covers network infrastructure as well as transmission systems that use direct detection technology. These direct detection systems may be used to provide very high capacity (up to 1.6Tb/s) Ethernet channels within data centres and commonly 100 & 400Gb/s data rates for metro data centre interconnect (DCI). LAN and campus backbones, FTTA & 5G front haul also use direct detection, as do point-to-point FTTH, full fibre business connections, and many transport and utility networks. Long haul OTN systems can use direct detection systems to provide capacity of 800Gb/s+ per fibre pair over thousands of km.

You will learn what is required for satisfactory system performance of such networks & how the performance can be affected by the properties and the quality of the physical fibre infrastructure including such issues as fibre type, attenuation, reflections, chromatic dispersion & polarisation mode dispersion (PMD). You will learn how to multiply the capacity of single channel systems using SDM (parallel fibres) or by applying appropriate WDM technologies including SWDM, WWDM, CWDM or DWDM. You’ll be able to extend the reach of the systems to avoid regeneration by using amplifiers, (EDFAs, Raman, SOAs) and through optical dispersion management. You will master the design rules for satisfactory system operation and learn to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings that can cause expensive re-work and costly delays.
Through the use of design exercises and assignments, you will learn how to design optical networking systems to provide efficient and cost-effective solutions for many network applications. The CONA course provides the solid foundation, on which the advanced level Certified Optical Network Engineer course builds.

This course uses a case study scenario to help provide context and let us look at the subject from a variety of perspectives. You’ll receive a comprehensive course manual which is a great reference resource, as well as access to additional online resources including review questions to help you revise. You’ll usually work with another delegate/s to complete a project assignment using OTT’s unique virtual optical network training system, WhizzieKit. And you’ll also need to pass a theory assessment to gain Certified Optical Network Associate (CONA) status.

Is it the right course for you or your team?

This is a great course for those that need a broad foundation of knowledge of optical communications networks. It suits telecoms job roles such as: optical network planner, optical network operations staff, WAN Service Engineer, datacenter operations engineer, network manager, optical communications or fibre optic specialists for data centres. It is an ideal course for project teams to attend together as it promotes understanding of different roles in the process and the case study and assignment encourage discussion. It is a foundation for progression to the Certified Optical Network Engineer (CONE) course. On the advanced CONE course, you’ll learn how the power of coherent transmission, coupled with advanced DSP, can be used to address key network challenges of increasing capacity, extending distances, controlling latency and providing flexibility by using powerful pluggable transceivers and open optical line systems with CDC-F ROADMs to build disaggregated and open networks with SDN. Together CONA+CONE can give you the full picture of optical networking!

What will you be able to do after the course?

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plan optical links that provide cost-effective solutions for many network applications
specify the components that are required to build a transmission link and explain how they should be configured
plan links for good performance and testability
assess options for SDM and WDM transceivers including 100G and 400G Ethernet
determine the optical power budget of different transmission systems
calculate the optical loss budget for a transmission link
verify that a link design is viable in terms of power levels, chromatic dispersion limits and PMD levels
calculate whether chromatic dispersion compensation is required for a link, and if so specify an appropriate DCM
assess the quality of existing fibre infrastructure and its suitability for different systems
decide when and where optical amplifiers are needed and identify suitable products
consider options for CWDM, DWDM and Raman amplified solutions for lighting up dark fibre links

What do trainees say about the course?

The manual, on-line resources (including links to Standards), and classroom curriculum are top notch and very professionally made. The Whizziekit classroom activity was very well made. It felt like we were processing a real order for one of our customers
All of the resources were great. I really liked the review sections, especially the course review. It was nice that the course review questions changed each time you went to it
I learned much from this course. I already had years of experience working in fiber optics and networks but still learned a lot from this course. I was surprsied with my background how much more I stil learned
Knowledge learned from this course will have direct impact and application to current tasking, making it extreamly useful
The whole course was a very useful tool. We will be able to understand more about the issues we have with our long haul fiber
The WhizzieKit VHS cases were amazing teaching tool. It is essentially lego, and helped us collaborate more effectively together in the team environment
All resourses proved useful. Presenting the information in various formats helped reinforce learning and served as value-added review before and after class
Great training and great preparation for next class level. Looking forward to the CONE class. Thanks for the great teaching and the awesome documentation

Find a course

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The CONA course is currently delivered by OTT’s training delivery partners in the UK, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, USA, South Africa, Nigeria and New Zealand. It may be possible to arrange courses onsite for company groups located in other regions. Some of their dates will be listed here. If you’d like to keep up-to-date with future dates for this course then why not follow us on your preferred social media.

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