Technological advances in telecommunications
- Instructor: David Ellis, PhD
- jdae (at) yorku (dot) ca (M-F, 9a-6p only)
This course provides a basic review of modern telecommunications technologies (no smoke signals), and how they developed from the legacy systems used by telephone carriers for most of the last century.
The central theme of the course is the remarkable extent to which, in a few short years, conventional telecommunications services have been superseded by Internet-related functions and technologies. This trend is epitomized by the widespread adoption of the Internet protocol suite and packet-switched networking, in place of voice-telephone technology and circuit switching. Paralleling these advances in network design, telecommunications has also undergone a transformation in the backend technologies that power our personal messaging and social media platforms, such as data centers built around the cloud computing model.
The course will allow students to expand on what they have learned in 2000-level courses such as COMN 2500 (Information and Technology), and 3000-level courses such as COMN 3510 (Considerations in Telecommunications), while preparing them for more advanced work in 4000-level courses such as COMN 4520 (Electronic Information Network Marketplace).
By taking this course, you can expect to:
- understand the limits of your alleged knowledge as a “digital native”
- appreciate the advantages of learning without electronic distractions
- learn how the Internet works as an engineering marvel
- conduct basic measurements of network performance
- pay more attention to the growing risks to your online privacy and security
- become a more critical consumer of telecom services like Internet access.
Materials for download
- TCP/IP slide deck .ppt
- Full syllabus, updated: Feb 5, v.1.3
- Class slidedecks (pdf):
Wed Jan 8 (#1) – Orientation: syllabus, learning outcomes, student responsibilities
- Discussion: What are telecommunications technologies?
Wed Jan 15 (#2) – Telecom technologies are Internet technologies (1/2)
- Reading (R1): TCP/IP videos 1-4: Overview, Link Layer, Internetwork Layer, TCP Layer (Dropbox)
Wed Jan 22 (#3) – Back to the future: when stupid is smart (1/2)
- Reading (R2): David Isenberg (1998), “The Dawn of the Stupid Network”
Wed Jan 29 (#4) – Telecom technologies are Internet technologies (2/2)
- Reading (R3): TCP/IP videos 5-7: TCP Layer Summary, Security-SSL, Application Layer (Dropbox)
Wed Feb 5 (#5) – Back to the future: TCP/IP, the everything disruptor (2/2)
- Reading (R4): Kevin Werbach (1997), Digital Tornado: The Internet and Telecommunications Policy (pdf: pp.i-vi, 1-25)
Wed Feb 12 (#6) – Cloud computing: rise of the data center (1/2)
- Reading (R5): Wikipedia entry on Cloud Computing
>> Wed Feb 19 — reading week: no class <<
Wed Feb 26 (#7) – Cloud computing: EaaS, aka Everything as a Service (2/2)
- Reading (R6): TechRepublic (Nov 2019), The most important cloud advances of the decade
Wed Mar 4 (#8) – The triumph of wireless: our love affair with the radio spectrum (1/3)
- Reading (R7): Radio Prepper (Sept 2018), Radio Frequencies, Bands, Modes and Bandwidth Explained (YouTube video)
Wed Mar 11 (#9) – The triumph of wireless: the standards game (2/3)
- Reading (R8): Harold Feld (Dec 2018), Tales of the Sausage Factory, “Why ‘Wi-Fi 6’ Tells You Exactly What You’re Buying, But ‘5G’ Doesn’t Tell You Anything“
Wed Mar 18 (#10) – The triumph of wireless: the measurement game (3/3)
- Reading (R9): OECD Broadband Portal (July 2019): Update, Methodology, FAQ, Speed Tests by Country
- Reading (R10): Cisco Systems (Feb 2019), Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2017–2022 (pdf)
Wed Mar 25 (#11) – Exam review, notebook grading, course evals
Wed Apr 1 (#12) – Final in-class exam (3 hrs)