Module code: EEEM025

Module Overview

Expected prior/parallel learning:  Some basic statistics and mathematical analysis skill would be useful.

Module purpose:  

Networks have become an important part of Global Information Infrastructure (GII). This module covers the fundamental and advanced topics on telecommunications and packets networks. These are very important and useful in understanding, design and evaluation of modern communications networks.


Module provider

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Module Leader

SUN Zhili (Elec Elec En)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 111

Lecture Hours: 33

Laboratory Hours: 6

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes the following.

  • Network architectures and Systems

1. Development of telecommunications and packet network architectures; local, national and international transmissions; switching and routing elements, PDH and SDH.

2. Layered networks, standards, circuit and packet switching, transition to IP, management.

3. Local access: ASDL, PON, fibre, cable, radio, WiMax.

4. Mobile cellular, Internet and ISP.


  • Transmission Principles and Systems

5. Service & Signal Characteristics – Types and nature of services, Position in a layered network, Description of signals-waveform, frequency, power, spectrum, Fourier, bandwidth, filters. Power description dBm, dBr, and dBmOp. Speech weighting, video, (FDM, TDM) and digital, data formats; transmission levels: Multiplex. TDM/FDM, simplex/duplex channels.

6. Physical Communication Channels (radio/fibre/lines) - Radio – FSL – radio tx in troposphere; Fibre types: systems, loss, dispersion lines: loss, dispersion, reflection, matching.

7-8. Signal Impairments - Noise, types- thermal noise definitions, noise figure/factor temperature calculation systems. Dispersion cables & fibres, crosstalk, clipping, intermodulation. Local loop BRL, echo & stability, echo cancellation & control, reference equivalent, loudness rating.

9. Design for Quality of Service (QoS) - Examples of design for QoS, radio system, ber/% availability, fibre optic system, loss & dispersion. Cable system, loss/crosstalk/dispersion.

10. Digital Transmission - Elements of digital transmission system, baseband & bandpass. Baseband processing; source coding, channel coding, encryption, multiplex, line coding, modulation, source coding for speech, video and ideas of TDM; PDH and SDH.

11. Baseband Digital Transmission -BER for baseband signalling, equalisation, pulse shaping, regeneration, line codes properties & applications of design in cable & fibre system.

12. Bandpass Digital Transmission - Modulation – ASK/FSK/PSK, BER, bandwidth & filtering. Multi-level schemes & QAM where used, radio, cable (XDSL).


  • Circuit switching signalling and networking

13. Circuit switching systems – subscribe switching units, digital telephone switching systems, PBX, digital exchange structures, ISDN exchanges.

14. Signalling and control – signalling and common channel signalling systems, ITU common channel signalling system no.7 (SS7)

15. Call control – exchange control systems, intelligent networks, and future network intelligence.


  • Packet Networks

16.    Open Systems - Packet networks and open systems standards, the OSI Reference Model.

17-18.   Link Layer Principles and Protocols - Asynchronous and synchronous techniques, framing, synchronisation, Flow and Error Control, Performance Analysis.

19-21. Network and Transport Protocols - Flow, error and congestion control. Circuit vs Packet Switching, ATM, the Internet Protocol (IP) and MPLS.


  • Teletraffic Engineering

22.   Modelling telecommunication systems: system structure, operational strategy, statistical properties of traffic, models

23. ITU-T recommendations on traffic engineering - Traffic demand characterisation, Grade of Service (GoS) objectives; Traffic controls and dimensioning; Performance monitoring.

24. Traffic concepts and grade of services (GoS) - Concept of traffic and traffic unit in Erlang, traffic variations and busy hour, blocking concept, traffic generation and subscribers reaction, QoS and GoS

25. Probability theory and Statistics – Distribution functions, characterisation of distribution functions, residual lifetime., exponential distribution, Erlang-k distributions.

26-27. Erlang’s loss system and B-formula – Poisson distribution, state transition diagram, derivation of state probability, traffic characteristics of the Poison distribution, traffic characteristics of Erlang’s B-formula

28. Erlang’s delay system - Erlang’s C-formula, numerical evaluation, mean queue length, mean waiting time, M/M/1, M/M/n queues.

29. Network planning and designing – traffic metrics, capacity planning, Kruithof’s double factor method, approximate end to end calculations methods; exact end to end calculations methods, optimal resource allocation. Overall design – bringing it all together.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable: students failing a unit of assessment resit the assessment in its original format.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy for this module is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the learning outcomes. The written examination will assess the knowledge and assimilation of terminology, concepts and theory of telecommunications and packet networks, as well as the ability to analyse problems.

The Assignment will assess the ability to use the analytical skills to evaluate network performance and QoS.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • 2 hours closed book written examination (80%)

  • 1 coursework report (20%)


Formative assessment and feedback

For the module, students will receive formative assessment/feedback in the following ways.

  • During lectures, by question and answer sessions

  • During tutorials/tutorial classes

  • By means of unassessed tutorial problem sheets (with answers/model solutions)

  • Support will be provided to students on their Lab session and use of simulation tool.


Module aims

  • To introduce the principles of modern telecommunications and packet networks
  • To introduce analytical modelling concepts as a base for quantitative analysis of network performance.
  • To explain the design principles of telecommunications and packet networks and the delivery of service quality.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Illustrate telecommunication and packet network principles and architectures.
2 Explain analogue and digital transmission mechanisms and the factors affecting signal quality.
3 Illustrate the benefits of layered protocol architectures for packet communications.
4 Model and evaluate flow and error control protocols.
5 Critically evaluate different packet network protocol architectures.
6 Apply the basics of teletraffic theory to performance analysis.

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to achieve the following aims.

Students taking this module will have a detailed knowledge of modern telecommunications and packet networks; they can dimension networks, as well as and analysis and evaluate the network performance and quality of service (QoS).


Learning and teaching methods include the following.

Lectures: Total 33 hours of lectures (3 per week) plus problem-solving and revision sessions.

Labs: In 2x 3-hour Lab session, Software simulation tool for switch and route will be installed in the Lab or students’ own computers. The students will learn the simulation tool, and are given a task to design and simulate a typical enterprise network.


Assignment(s): Students will submit report based on the design and simulation, covering the following aspects:

  • Produce a design of a typical enterprise networks.

  • Set up connections of switches and routers.

  • Configure individual switch and routers.

  • Generate traffic loads for certain applications and services.

  • Capture the network packets

  • Analyses the performance and QoS provided by the network

  • Draw a conclusion.


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: EEEM025

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.