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Introduction to Wide Area Networks

PTT - Providers Of Telecoms Training


What will I learn?

Wide Area Networks (WANs) provide secure and reliable voice, video and data communications for businesses. This online course explains the principles of operation, capabilities and features of various types of Wide Area Network and describes the requirements of different types of traffic and how these can be met.

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • describe the principles of operation of the various types of network that transport traffic over wide areas with reference to the concepts of circuits and virtual circuits.
  • give examples of the various types of wide area network (WAN) including Frame Relay, IP networks and MPLS, and compare their principle of operation, application and facilities.
  • explain the concept of, and benefits offered by, a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
  • describe the principles and applications of the various types of addressing used in telecommunications systems and describe the basic principles of routing.
  • describe the transmission characteristics and requirements of WAN applications such as file transfer, and telephone and video services with reference to bandwidth requirement, maximum tolerable delay and delay variation and the effects of errors.
  • describe the cause of impairments such as delay and errors.
  • compare the ability of TDM and packet-switched networks to provide the sustained bandwidth and low delay required by voice and video traffic.
  • describe how advances in technology have allowed the provision of triple play services over IP networks.
  • explain the principles, benefits and limitations of various error detection and correction technique.
  • explain the meaning, relevance and application of the terms "Quality of Service" and "Class of Service" as applied to packet switched networks.
  • compare the ability of Frame Relay, MPLS, Carrier Ethernet and 4G mobile systems to offer an assured Quality of Service.

This online course includes assessments, the results of which are summarised in a certificate self-published at course completion.

What do I need to know?

An understanding of the basic principles of data communications over packet-switched networks. It is recommended that the PTT course "Data communication principles" is studied before attempting this course.

Course info


Course Provider Diploma/Certificate/Award (this must include an assessed element)

Study Hours

Variable - to suit the learner

Study mode




Total time for completion

12 months

More info on price

£126 per year. Single user annual licence

Who runs this course?



PTT – Providers of telecommunications training – is a specialist distance learning provider that focusses on telecommunications and Information communications technology (ICT). PTT’s extensive catalogue of online courses offer a valuable training and information resource for those joining the telecoms and ICT sectors as well as managers, technicians and engineers who need to keep up to date with the latest techniques and systems. Apart from standalone courses, PTT also offers online study programmes that reward successful participants with a certificate. PTT courses and study programmes are used throughout the world by major telecommunications and ICT organisations to train their staff as well as individuals wanting to

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