CS7NS3 – Next Generation Networks

Module CodeCS7NS3
Module Name Next Generation Networks
ECTS Weighting [1]5 ECTS
Semester TaughtSemester 1
Module Coordinator/s  Prof Marco Ruffini and Prof Nicola Marchetti

Module Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  1. Describe the basic characteristics, structure and operation of wired and wireless networks;
  2. Identify appropriate architectural models, systems strategies and use cases for a range of modern network concepts;
  3. Reason about the challenges and impediments that new, disruptive networking paradigms encounter, as well as their appropriate application;
  4. Implement solutions to key challenges in modern network architecture, e.g., scalability, cost effectiveness and energy efficiency;
  5. Implement solutions to key challenges in the wireless space e.g. mobility, interference, energy consumption;
  6. Evaluate the performance of queues and develop network traffic models;
  7. Assess the operation of medium access protocols in contemporary wireless standards for local and wide area networks, and Internet of Things, and discuss co-existence between different types of systems.

Module Content

This module aims to provide both a theoretical and practical understanding of modern and next generation networking and systems concepts, principles, practices and technologies. Contemporary and emerging wired and wireless network systems are targeted. Students will be exposed to a variety of system platforms, architectures, protocols, models and algorithms, with a strong focus on key design principles and practices e.g. performance, scalability, mobility, virtualization. The module also aims to highlight some of the relevant ongoing research and innovation in the space taking place within Ireland and internationally.

Specific topics addressed in this module include:

  1. Contemporary and emerging fixed telecommunication network architecture and systems:
    • Fixed telecom operator network architectures;
    • Optical networking and transmission technology;
    • Next generation fixed access network technologies (latest copper and fibre access technologies);
  2. Contemporary and emerging wireless network architecture and systems:
    • Wireless channel impairments and mitigation techniques, overview of wireless networks;
    • Mobile architectures: LTE, LTE-A, LTE-A-PRO;
    • Wireless local area networks: IEEE 802.11, HetNet and small cell deployments, mmWave;
  3. Convergence of mobile and fixed architectures: backhaul, fronthaul, midhaul and protocol convergence;
  4. Multi-service networks and quality of service assurance;
  5. Centralised network control plane and protocols: Path Computation Element (PCE), Q-in-Q, MAC-in-MAC, MPLS;
  6. Next generation software-defined network (SDN) controlled systems;
  7. Traffic modelling:
    • Introduction to queuing theory: M/M/1 queue, other M/M queues, M/G/1 queue;
    • Network traffic models: Poisson arrival process, self-similarity;
  8. Recent trends in wireless networking:
    • Cognitive radio self-organising networks and spectrum sharing;
    • 5G and Internet of Things.

Teaching and Learning Methods

2 lectures per week.

Assessment Details

Assessment ComponentBrief Description Learning Outcomes Addressed% of TotalWeek SetWeek Due
Examination In-person Exam (2 hour duration)LO1, LO2, LO3,
LO4, LO5, LO6,
In Class Quiz Multiple Choice QuizLO1, LO2, LO3,
LO4, LO5, LO6,
15%Week 6Week 6
In Class QuizMultiple Choice QuizLO1, LO2, LO3,
LO4, LO5, LO6,
15%Week 12Week 12

Reassessment Detail

Take-Home Exam, (100%, 2.5 hours duration). Exam to be completed within a 24 hour period.

Contact Hours and Indicative Student Workload

Contact Hours (scheduled hours per student over full module), broken down by: 33 hours
Lecture26 hours
Laboratory0 hours
Tutorial or seminar4 hours
Invited talks from industry 3 hours
Independent Study (outside scheduled contact hours), broken down by:80 hours
Preparation for classes and review of material (including preparation for examination, if applicable)76 hours
Completion of assessments (including examination, if applicable)4 hours
Total Hours113 hours

Recommended Reading List

  • Wireless Networking, Understanding Internetworking Challenges, J. L. Burbank, J. Andrusenko, J.S. Everett, W.T.M. Kasch, Wiley, 2013.
  • Computer Networks and Systems: Queuing Theory and Performance Evaluation, 3rd edition, T.G. Robertazzi, Springer, 2000.
  • QOS-Enabled Networks: Tools and Foundations, 2nd edition, Miguel Barreiros, Peter Lundqvist, Wiley, 2016.
  • Optical Networks: A Practical Perspective, 3rd Edition, R. Ramaswami, K. N. Sivarajan, G. H. Sasaki, Morgan Kaufmann, 2010.

Module Pre-requisites

Prerequisite modules: N/A

Other/alternative non-module prerequisites: N/A

Other/alternative non-module prerequisites: General knowledge of networking protocols and transmission.

Module Co-requisites


Module Website


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