04-641   Fundamentals of Telecommunications and Computer Networks

Location: Africa

Units: 12

Semester Offered: Fall

Course description

In this class, students will learn how modern telecommunications and computer networks function as well as key communication protocols and protocol stacks. Moreover, the course will discuss computer network design and deployment through lectures and lab work. Students will complete weekly labs that require them to implement a specific network configuration. The course grade will be based on weekly lab write-ups, paper reviews, a midterm, and a final exam.

Learning objectives

The goal of this course is to provide learners with the fundamentals of computer networking and other telecommunication systems. After completing this course, students should understand how modern telecommunications and computer networks function and understand relevant protocols and the protocol stack. They should also be able to perform network subnetting and explain how routing and switching are accomplished.


After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe various types of network architectures and protocols
  • Describe and analyze QoS and traffic engineering mechanisms and protocols
  • Evaluate the performance of standard networks
  • Handle address space exhaustion of IPV4 (Subnetting concepts)
  • How to effectively and fairly allocate resources among a collection of competing users
  • Be familiar with the most popular network applications
  • Describe different security issues in computer networks

Content details

  • History of the Internet
  • Design principles
  • ISPs, backbones, and peering
  • Application protocols (HTTP, FTP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, DNS, DHCP)
  • DNS and CDNs (content distribution networks)
  • Peer-to-peer networks
  • Transport layer (UDP, TCP)
  • Congestion control
  • Network layer (IP addressing, subnetting, ICMP, OSPF, RIP, IPv4, IPv6)
  • Routing (Internet, algorithms, instability)
  • Network measurement
  • Link layer (Ethernet, devices, virtual link layer, ARP, MAC)
  • Wireless and mobile networks, and next-generation networks
  • Security in computer networks




Edwin Mugume