ctns telecommunications certification

Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist (CTNS)

TCO CTNS Certification Package

Get the core knowledge needed in telecom today with these six courses covering all major topics - plus TCO Certification to prove it!

• Loops and trunks, analog, the voiceband

• LECs, CLECs and IXCs. POTS and SS7.

• Mobility & cellular fundamentals

• GSM and TDMA. UMTS and CDMA. 4G LTE.

• Internet via cellular. WiFi and satellite.

• Protocols and standards. The OSI Model.

• Layers: Layer 2 vs. Layer 3. Examples.

• Protocol stacks. How protocol stacks work.

• LAN fundamentals. Ethernet and 802 standards.

• MAC addresses and MAC frames

• LAN switches, broadcast domains and VLANs

• Packet network fundamentals. Routers.

• IP packets and IP addresses

• Static & dynamic, public & private addresses

• Network Address Translation (NAT). IPv6.

• Carrier network basics. Customer Edge (CE) device

• Service Level Agreements and CoS

• MPLS for traffic management, VPNs, integrated access

Invest in yourself with Teracom's CTNS Certification Package! Six CTNS courses plus TCO Certification, giving you a solid foundation in telecom, datacom and networking, from traditional telephony and cellular to Ethernet, IP and MPLS networking.

Get up to speed on all major topics, at your own pace. Understand the fundamentals, technologies, jargon, buzzwords and most importantly, the underlying ideas ... and how it all fits together.

Plus, get your Telecommunications Certification Organization (TCO) Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist (CTNS) Certification to prove it!

Upgrade your skills – and your résumé – with this training and certification today!

Limited-time bonus: get Course 2221 Fundamentals of Voice over IP free with CTNS!     details

Teracom Training Institute is a Certified Training Partner of the Telecommunications Certification Organization, authorized to administer courses and exams for TCO certifications on the myTeracom Learning Management System, and award TCO Certifications.

Certification Packages are high-quality training courses plus TCO Certification at a discounted price.

TCO Certification is proof of your knowledge of telecom, datacom and networking fundamentals, jargon, buzzwords, technologies and solutions.

It's backed up with a Certificate suitable for framing plus - a Teracom exclusive - a personalized Letter of Reference / Letter of Introduction detailing the knowledge your TCO Certification represents and inviting the recipient to contact Teracom for verification. You may list Teracom Training Institute as a reference on your résumé if desired.

The Unlimited Plan gets you unlimited repeats of courses and exams... which means guaranteed to pass if you're willing to learn, jump in and out of courses as needed and refresh your knowledge anytime.

Plus, you are covered by our unconditional 100% Money Back Guarantee: Full refund within 30 days, no questions asked.  You have nothing to lose - and a marketable certification to gain!

Get started today with a TCO Certification Package!

30-day full money-back guarantee

100% money-back guarantee
Full refund within 30 days

If for any reason you change your mind during the 30 days after purchase, you can get your money back. You have nothing to lose - and a marketable certification to gain!  

Get started now!

Quality you can trust
Benefit from decades of knowledge, insight and experience distilled into clear lessons designed for non-engineers, logically organized to build one concept on another… in plain English. Join our thousands of satisfied customers including:
and the FBI Training Academy, US Marine Corps Communications School, US Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, the NSA and CIA, IRS, FAA, DND, CRA, CRTC, RCMP, banks, power companies, police forces, manufacturers, government, local and regional telcos, broadband carriers, individuals, telecom planners and administrators, finance, tax and accounting personnel and many more from hundreds of companies. Teracom's GSA Contract GS-02F-0053X for supplying this training to the United States Government is your assurance of approved quality and value.

What You Get With The CTNS Certification Package

1. High-quality, up-to-date, comprehensive training
You will get a solid foundation of structured knowledge, delivered in our trademark "telecom for non-engineers" style. Cut through jargon to understand the fundamentals, technologies and buzzwords… and how it all fits together, in plain English.

2. The certification exam
Each course in the certification package has an associated exam, typically ten multiple-choice questions. You get unlimited repeats of the exam - which means guaranteed to pass. Plus, on achieving a passing grade:

3. Your certificate, suitable for framing
A full-color TCO Certificate suitable for framing is automatically awarded by the Learning Management System on completion of the required exams. It can be immediately printed on plain or textured paper on any color printer and framed by student as desired, with no shipping charges. It can also be attached to the electronic version of the student's CV. An original hard copy of your Certificate, signed and sealed, can be sent to you by mail for $25 plus first-class mail cost.

4. A personalized Letter of Reference / Letter of Introduction
You also receive a personalized Letter of Reference / Letter of Introduction explaining the courses you took and the knowledge you have, and inviting anyone you give it to to contact us as a reference... excellent addition to your CV.

5. Right to display the TCO logo
You'll have the right to display a high-resolution copy of the TCO logo on your résumé, business card, LinkedIn profile, web page, blog, or email signature.

6. TCO Certification Designation
Passing the Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist, you will be able to state that you:
- "are a Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist",
- "hold a Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist certification from the Telecommunications Certification Organization",
- are "certified as a Telecommunications Network Specialist by the Telecommunications Certification Organization",
- are a "Telecommunications Certification Organization (TCO) Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist",
- are "TCO-Certified",
and may sign your name - "Richard Smith, CTNS," or "Jane Smith, Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist"

7. A 30-day no-questions-asked 100% money-back guarantee.
If for any reason you change your mind, for 30 days after purchase you can get your money back. You have nothing to lose! – and a marketable skill to gain!

Benefits of Certification For Individuals

One benefit of TCO certification is differentiating yourself from the rest of the crowd when applying for a job or angling for a promotion.

The knowledge you gain taking Teracom's Online Courses, confirmed with TCO Certification, is foundational knowledge in telecommunications, IP, networking and wireless: fundamental concepts, mainstream technologies, jargon, buzzwords, and the underlying ideas - and how it all fits together.

This type of knowledge and preparation makes you an ideal candidate to hire or promote to a task, as you will be able to build on your knowledge base to quickly get up to speed and work on a particular project - then have the versatility to work on subsequent projects.

TCO Certification will help demonstrate you have this skill... a desirable thought to have in your potential manager's mind.

Benefits of Certification For Employers

Teracom certification packages are an extremely cost-effective way of implementing consistent, comprehensive telecommunications and network technology fundamentals training, ensuring that both existing resources and new hires are up to the same speed, with a common vocabulary, framework and knowledge base.

The course exams provide concrete measurements of competency in key knowledge areas.

Management can view reports on the progress and results of team members, and export results to Excel with the click of a button. These reports identify skills strengths and deficiencies, and are a demonstration of meeting managerial objectives of team building and return on investment.

Get this training for your whole team. The scalable myTeracom Learning Management System can register and manage all of your people through courses, exams and certificates.

For larger organizations, the courses and exams can also be licensed and deployed on your LMS.

CTNS Certification Study Guide
and Reference Handbook

T4210 Telecom, Datacom and Networking for Non-Engineers CTNS Study Guide

ctns certificate

Invest in yourself

Implement a major career-enhancing upgrade to your knowledge, or prepare for a job in the telecommunications business.

Get the knowledge you need

Understand telecom, datacom and networking fundamentals, jargon, buzzwords, technologies and standard practices... and how it all fits together.

Benefit from decades of experience

with courses covering all major topics, right up to date, in clear lessons logically organized to deliver structured knowledge that lasts a lifetime.

Interactive lessons

rich with photographs, video and graphics make this self-paced learning enjoyable.

Getting Your Certificate

Each course has a course exam, consisting of ten multiple-choice questions chosen at random from a pool and shuffled in order. Passing the course exams proves your knowledge of these topics and results in your certification.

Your Certificate and Letter of Reference / Letter of Introduction will be immediately available for download from your Dashboard in the myTeracom Learning Management System. You may also order a signed and sealed Certificate by airmail.

Teracom's exclusive Unlimited Plan allows you unlimited repeats courses and exams with no expiry – which means guaranteed to get your certificate if you're willing to learn, plus jump in and out of courses and refresh your knowledge anytime in the future.

Course Descriptions

The CTNS Certification Package includes six courses plus the TCO CTNS Certification Exam, Certificate and Personalized Letter of Reference.  These courses will give you the core knowledge needed in telecom today, plus a certificate to prove it! Unlimited repeats of exams and courses.  30-day no-questions-asked 100% money-back guarantee.

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Course 2201 The PSTN

Loops and Trunks • POTS • Circuit-Switching • LECs, CLECs and IXCs • Analog • Voiceband • DTMF • SS7

In this online telecommunications course, we begin with a history lesson, understanding how and why telephone networks and the companies that provide them are organized into local access and inter-city transmission, or as we will see, Local Exchange Carriers (LECs) and Inter-Exchange Carriers (IXCs).

Then we will establish a basic model for the PSTN and understand its main components: Customer Premise, Central Office, loop, trunk, outside plant, circuit switching, attenuation, loop length, remotes, and why knowledge of the characteristics of the loop remains essential knowledge even though we are moving to Voice over IP.

Next, we'll cover aspects of telephony and Plain Ordinary Telephone Service, including analog, the voiceband, twisted pair, supervision and signaling including DTMF. The course is completed with an overview of SS7, the control system for the telephone network in the US and Canada.

On completion of this telecommunications course online, you will be able to draw a model of the Public Switched Telephone Network, identify and explain its components and technologies including:
• Loops and trunks, CO, telephone switches and circuit-switching
• Twisted pair, the outside plant, remotes, fiber to the neighborhood
• The founding, breakup and re-emergence of AT&T in the US; Bell & TELUS in Canada
• LECs, IXCs and CLECs
• Plain Ordinary Telephone Service (POTS)
• Analog, the voiceband, how it relates to copper wires, electricity, circuits and sound
• Supervision, dial tone, ringing, lightning protection, tip and ring, -48 volts
• Touch-tone and DTMF
• Basics of SS7 and call routing

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Course 2206 Wireless Telecommunications

Mobility • Cellular Networks • Internet over Cellular • GSM and TDMA • UMTS and 1X CDMA • LTE • WiFi • Satellite

In many parts of the world, particularly outside Canada, the US and Western Europe, this is the physical telephone network, as deploying radio transceivers is far cheaper than embarking on a new project to pull copper wires and/or fiber to every residence.

Most of this course is devoted to mobile wireless telecommunications. We begin with basic concepts and terminology including base stations and transceivers, mobile switches and backhaul, handoffs, cellular radio concepts and digital radio concepts.

Then, we cover spectrum-sharing technologies and their variations in chronological order: GSM/TDMA vs. CDMA for second generation, 1X vs. UMTS CDMA for third generation along with their data-optimized 1XEV-DO and HSPA, how Steve Jobs ended the standards wars with the iPhone and explaining the OFDM spectrum-sharing method of LTE for 4G.

This course is completed with a lesson on WiFi, or more precisely, 802.11 wireless LANs, and a lesson on satellite communications.

You'll gain a solid understanding of the key principles of wireless and mobile networks:
• Coverage, capacity and mobility
• Why cellular radio systems are used
• Mobile network components and operation
• Registration and handoffs
• Digital radio
• "Data" over cellular: Internet access
• Cellular technologies: FDMA, TDMA, CDMA, OFDM
• Generations: 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G
• Systems: GSM, UMTS, 1X, HSPA, LTE
• WiFi, 802.11 wireless LANs
• Satellite communications

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Course 2212 The OSI Layers and Protocol Stacks

Protocols & Standards • OSI Model • Layers • Protocol Stacks • FedEx Analogy

This course begins the "IP courses" in the Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist (CTNS) certification package and is the first course in the Certified IP Telecom Network Specialist (CIPTS) package.

It establishes a framework for all of the discussions in subsequent lessons and courses: the OSI 7-Layer Reference Model, which identifies and divides the functions to be performed into groups called layers.

You'll learn what a layer is, the purpose of each layer, see examples of protocols used to implement each layer, and learn how a protocol stack really works with the famous "FedEx Analogy" presented as an embedded video by our top instructor, Eric Coll.

Build structured, broad knowledge of networks - understanding that lasts a lifetime. Stand out from the crowd!

The objectives of this course are to understand:

• The concept of an open system and its advantages
• What a protocol is and what a standard is
• The OSI Model and its purpose
• What a Layer is
• The seven layers of the OSI model
• The name of each layer
• The functions each layer is responsible for
• Examples of actual protocols for each layer
• What a protocol stack is and how it operates
• Examples of standards organizations that publish protocols

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Course 2211 Ethernet, LANs and VLANs

MAC Addresses • 802.3 and Ethernet • Broadcast Domains • LAN Cables • Switches • VLANs

In this course, we'll examine technologies for connecting machines, called LANs. One of the original requirements for a LAN was to connect computers in an office to a shared laser printer. This requirement has generalized to connectivity between devices and the sharing of resources, including hardware resources such as hard disks and surveillance cameras; information resources such as centralized databases; software resources such as network address configuration programs; communication resources such as WAN circuits and other resources.

Originally, these devices were connected to a cable to form a LAN segment. Now, Ethernet Switches, a.k.a. Layer 2 or LAN switches, create what we call broadcast domains with hardware, and VLANs define broadcast domains in software.

Ethernet technology, particularly its frames and MAC addresses, plus VLAN technology, migrated from in-building applications to the core of the telecom network. The "backbone" of carrier networks is now Optical Ethernet, no longer SONET and ATM.

And fulfilling the goal to use the same technology for access circuits and services as in the core of the network, LAN technology is now used for 40 Gigabit/sec service using Optical Ethernet to large office buildings and 10+ Mb/s fiber-based services to businesses.

On completion of this course, you will be able to explain
• Ethernet and the original bus design
• What a broadcast domain is
• What MAC addresses are
• The access control mechanism
• The IEEE 802 series of standards, 802.2 and 802.3
• Gigabit Ethernet on copper and fiber
• Codes like 100BASE-T
• LAN cables and the TIA-568 cable categories
• LAN switches, also called "Layer 2" switches
• How and why VLANs are used to separate devices

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Course 2213 IP Addresses, Packets and Routers

IP Addresses • Packets • Networks • Routers • Static and Dynamic Addresses • DHCP • Public and Private Addresses • NAT • IPv6

This course could also be called "Layer 3", as it is all about Layer 3 of the OSI model: the network layer, and in particular, IP packet networks.

Packet networks embody two main ideas: bandwidth on demand and packet switching.

First, we'll recap channelized TDM and its limitations, then understand statistical TDM or bandwidth on demand.

Next, we'll understand how routers implement the network with packet switching, that is, relaying packets from one circuit to another, and how routers are a point of control for network security. We'll introduce the term Customer Edge (CE), and understand the basic structure and content of a routing table.

Then we'll cover the many aspects of IP addressing – needed to be able to do the packet switching: IPv4 address classes, dotted decimal notation, static vs. dynamic addresses, DHCP, public vs. private addresses, Network Address Translation, and finish with an overview of IPv6 and IPv6 address allocation and assignment.

On completion of this course, you will be able to explain
• What a packet is
• What a router is
• Overbooking and bandwidth on demand
• Why and how it can be implemented
• What a network is, what a private network is
• How routers implement a network by connecting links
• How routers move packets between broadcast domains
• Basic network design and security: packet filtering
• The basic structure and contents of a routing table
• The Customer Edge
• IPv4 address blocks: Class A, Class B and Class C
• Dotted-decimal notation
• Static addresses and dynamic addresses
• DHCP and how and why it is used to assign both
• Public addresses and private addresses
• How, why and where each is used
• NAT: Network Address Translation
• IPv6
• How IPv6 addresses are allocated to ISPs
• How each residence gets 18 billion billion IPv6 addresses

Understand the whole IP story, including routers, packets, addresses, DHCP, NAT and IPv6. What's not to like?

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Course 2214 MPLS and Carrier Networks

Carrier Packet Networks • Technologies • MPLS • MPLS VPNs • SLAs • CoS • Integration & Aggregation

MPLS and Carrier Networks is a comprehensive, up-to-date course on the networks companies like AT&T build and operate, how they are implemented, the services they offer, and how customers connect to the network.

This course can be taken by those who need just an introduction to carrier networks and MPLS, as well as by those who need to build a solid base on which to build project- or environment-specific knowledge.

In the previous course, we used a private network, i.e. dedicated point-to-point circuits connected with routers, as the simplest framework for understanding packets, bandwidth on demand, routers, and network addresses.

In this course, we will take the same idea and apply it again at the carrier network level: replacing the dedicated lines between customer locations from the simple framework of the previous course with bandwidth on demand service from a carrier between the customer locations.

We'll spend much of this course understanding a powerful traffic management tool called virtual circuits, how they are implemented with MPLS, and how MPLS can be used to provide differentiated services, aggregate traffic and implement convergence.

Without bogging down on details, we'll cut through buzzwords and marketing to demystify
• Carrier packet networks and services
• Customer Edge (CE) and Provider Edge (PE)
• Service Level Agreements
• Traffic profiles
• Virtual circuits
• QoS, Class of Service and Differentiated Services
• Integration, convergence and aggregation
• MPLS and other network technologies
• How this relates to TCP/IP
• How MPLS is used for business customer VPNs
• How MPLS is used for integrated access:
• How all services are carried together on one circuit
• How MPLS is used to prioritize and manage IP packets
• "MPLS services" vs. the Internet

Teracom Advantages
• Proven courses used by the biggest telecom carriers to train their employees
These courses are the same courses used by the biggest telecom carriers in the business to train their employees - constantly updated to deliver the core technical knowledge required in the telecom business today. 
This is the best quality training of its kind available.
• GSA Schedule
Teracom online courses and certification packages are on our US Government supply contract... which took two years and a 200-page application... so you know you are getting quality.
• 100% Money-Back Guarantee
You are protected by Teracom's 30-day, no-questions-asked, 100% money-back guarantee.
• Career-enhancing knowledge
This training is an ideal way to implement a career-enhancing upgrade to your knowledge, 
or to prepare for a job in the telecommunications business.
• Guaranteed to Pass with the Unlimited Plan
Choose the Unlimited Plan for unlimited repeats of courses and exams - which means you can retake courses to refresh your knowledge in the future, and guaranteed to pass the exam if you're willing to learn.  unlimited plan info
• Self-paced training
The courses and their lessons can be done at your own pace. There are no time limits for completing a lesson and moving to the next one. The courses may be done in any order.
• Team training

These courses are a highly cost-effective and consistent way for managers to get team members up to a common speed with measurable results. The myTeracom Learning Management System provides management reports showing your team's progress with a few clicks of the mouse.

Technical Level and Intended Audience

Our training has been taught to wide acclaim across North America since 1992 and is designed for the non-engineering professional needing an overview and update, and for those new to the business needing to get up to speed quickly on telecommunications, data communications, IP, MPLS, wireless and networking.

Our emphasis is conveying the key concept-level knowledge in plain English - which you can't get reading trade magazines or talking to vendors. We put in place a solid, valuable and long-lasting understanding. It is our goal to bust the buzzwords, demystify the jargon, and cut through the double-talk to present a clear, cohesive picture.

Based on Teracom's proven instructor-led training courses developed and refined over twenty years providing training for organizations including AT&T, Verizon, Bell Canada, Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, Qualcomm, the CIA, NSA, IRS, FAA, US Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force and hundreds of others, Teracom online courses are top-notch, top-quality and right up to date with the topics and knowledge you need.

The no-hassle training solution

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Teracom's high-quality online courses are delivered in Google Chrome or Puffin browsers on any Windows or mac desktop or laptop, iPad, android tablet or phone with an internet connection... to any number of people, anywhere, anytime.       system requirements 

Ideal for self-paced training, courses are divided into lessons. Stay on a lesson for as long as you like, and move to the next lesson then write the course exam only when ready.

With the Unlimited Plan, you can repeat exams as needed, and retake courses anytime in the future.