Wonder what we teach?

The Introduction to Broadband Converged IP Telecom course is the first course in our self-study CTNS certification package and the CTSME certification bundle, and the first chapter in our instructor-led Course 101 and Boot Camp.

It provides an overview of the material that we cover in our training and gives you a taste of the style and format of our online training.

Watch the introduction session for free and gain an understanding of all the topics which are taught in more detail throughout the training.

Get more Info

TCO CTNS Certification: Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist

The core knowledge needed in telecom today, with eight courses covering all major topics – plus TCO Certification to prove it!

The internationally-recognized TCO CTNS Certification is the core telecommunications network knowledge required by everyone serious in the telecom world today.

Bust the buzzwords, demystify the jargon, understand the fundamental concepts, technologies and standard practices … and most importantly, the underlying ideas, and how it all fits together.

The eight full-length courses in the CTNS Certification Package cover all major areas of telecom, datacom and networking.

You will start by getting up to speed on all major topics with the new 2021 course Introduction to Broadband Converged IP Telecom plus fully up-to-date courses on Cellular and Wi-Fi,  VoIP and SIP, the PSTN, OSI Layers, LANs and Optical Ethernet, IP and MPLS.

For an individual, this 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.

For an employer, CTNS is an extremely cost-effective way of getting team members and new hires up to a common speed with a common vocabulary and reference. The myTeracom Learning Management System can generate team progress reports.  A discount of 40% is available for 5 seats or more.

This investment will be repaid many times over in the future in terms of lowered buzzword frustration and higher accuracy and productivity.  Get started today!

The coursework for CTNS is a set of eight high-quality online multimedia courses. The content outline for each course is below. Click on the course name or scroll down for detailed descriptions, what you will learn, and free lessons.

newCourse 2241: Introduction to Broadband Converged IP Telecom
• Specifically designed for non-engineers
• Introduction and first pass through all aspects of today’s telecom
• Convergence • Broadband • Network Core and Edge • Protocols
• Last Mile Copper, Fiber and Wireless • Network Equipment
• Residential, Business and Wholesale Services • Carrier Connections

Course 2206: Wireless Telecommunications
• Mobile network, radio and cellular fundamentals
• Phone calls and mobile Internet over cellular
• 4G LTE, OFDMA, 5G new spectrum, new applications
• Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi security, and satellite communications

Course 2221: Fundamentals of Voice over IP
• The Big Picture. VoIP Phones and Terminals
• Voice in IP Packets. Soft Switches / SIP Servers / Call Managers
• Media Servers, Gateways, LAN and WAN, SIP Trunking, Standards
• Where All of This is Headed: Broadband IP Dial Tone

Course 2201: The PSTN
• Required knowledge while there remains a large installed base
• Loops and trunks, analog, the voiceband
• LECs, CLECs and IXCs. POTS and SS7

Course 2212: OSI Layers and Protocol Stacks
• Protocols and standards. The OSI Model
• Layers: Layer 2 vs. Layer 3. Examples
• Protocol stacks. How protocol stacks work

Course 2211: LANs, VLANs, Wireless and Optical Ethernet
• LAN fundamentals. Ethernet and 802 standards
• MAC addresses and MAC frames
• LAN switches, broadcast domains and VLANs
• Ethernet on twisted pair (Cat 5e/6 cables), radio (Wi-Fi) and fiber (Optical Ethernet)

Course 2213: IP Networks, Routers and Addresses
• Packet network fundamentals. Routers
• IP packets and IP addresses
• Static & dynamic, public & private addresses
• Network Address Translation (NAT). IPv6.

Course 2214: MPLS and Carrier Networks
• Carrier network basics. Customer Edge (CE) device
• Service Level Agreements and CoS
• MPLS for traffic management, VPNs, integrated access
• MPLS Services vs. Internet service

Invest in yourself with the CTNS Certification Package!

Eight CTNS courses plus TCO Certification, giving you a solid foundation in telecom, datacom and networking, from modern IP telecom, wireless, VoIP and PSTN to Ethernet, IP networking and MPLS.

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!

The CTNS Certification Package Unlimited Plan includes the eight CTNS Courses and CTNS Certification Exam, both with unlimited repeats – which means guaranteed to pass if you’re willing to do the work, and refresh your knowledge anytime.

Optional printed or eBook study guide available.

Order CTSME – save $813

CTSME – Certified Telecommunications Subject Matter Expert is 5 certifications in one – CTNS, CVA, CWA, CTA plus CTSME.

CTSME certification

Just $1595 when ordered as a bundle.

The most comprehensive telecommunications training and certification available.

Five internationally-recognized telecommunications and network certifications, a total of twenty‑six full‑length high‑quality online courses, TCO Subject Matter Expert certification, with unlimited repeats and no time limits.

Get more Info

BOOT CAMP: Live Online June 14-18

Boot Camp logo

BOOT CAMP Live Online is going strong.  
Check out student evaluations from previous classes.
Join us the week of June 14 to bust the buzzwords, demystify the jargon and understand today’s converged broadband telecommunications, and most importantly, the underlying ideas… and how it all fits together.  

Or contact us for a private class if you have a group!

Teracom’s famous core telecom training for non-engineers, totally updated for the 2020s, with broadband, cloud computing, data centers, 5G, IoT, broadband wireless and much more.

BOOT CAMP Live Online continues to be a great success. Join us June 14 to bust the buzzwords, demystify the jargon and understand today’s telecommunications technologies, and most importantly, the underlying ideas… and how it all fits together.

You will learn and retain more as part of a live class with a real instructor, where you can ask questions and interact with others.

Thousands of people have benefitted from this training.  Join us!

Contact us for a private BOOT CAMP if you have a group!
get more info  •  register  •  detailed BOOT CAMP brochure

Here’s a sampling of student evaluations from previous classes:

“Awesome course, really. Just very, very good.”
  – Tim Wilson, Ciena

“Thank you guys so much, this class was amazing! I would take this all over again!”
– Austin Thompson, NHC

“Since I am very new to telecom, this helped me connect the dots, the different layers and terminology. I liked that it followed the printed workbooks very closely so I could read the summaries after the lessons. The instructor was great. He kept it light, added some jokes to keep it entertaining.  I liked most when he did drawings with his explanations.”
  – Ashley Brinkman, Marketing Manager, MTA, Palmer Alaska

“The course was very beneficial for me.  I wish I would have been able to take this class a few years back when I first started!”
  – Tamara Pepin, CRTC

“I had some of the basics; this class filled gaps and added much more depth. Instructor Richard was open to questions at any time, and revisited topics until we got it. Having the notes in the printed course book to follow along and add to was very helpful. Richard was very passionate about the course material and had great real-life examples.”
– Robert Smieszny, NHC

“Richard is an excellent instructor. He has unmatched knowledge on the subject! He does a fantastic job interacting as if we are physically in a classroom with him!”
– Daniel Herfel, National Institute of Standards and Technology

All you need to join BOOT CAMP Live Online and get this world-famous training is a laptop with a webcam. We’ll ship you the high-quality printed color course books in advance of the BOOT CAMP, and you’ll be part of a class that runs 9 – 5 Monday – Friday.

The best part: BOOT CAMP was totally updated for 2020, with 5G, Cloud Computing, Data Centers, Smart Cities & more, just before the pandemic struck! 

This is the most up-to-date telecom-for-non-engineers training that can be found anywhere.

This is truly career-enhancing knowledge.

Teracom BOOT CAMP Live Online is a great opportunity:

  • Live interactive group training, guaranteed coronavirus-free!
  • You will be part of a class.
  • You will be able to see and hear everyone else.
  • We’ll ship you the high-quality printed color course books in advance.
  • The instructor will stand up at the front of the room and teach the class like any other BOOT CAMP.
  • The instructor will keep you focused, so you learn, like any other BOOT CAMP.
  • You can ask the instructor questions, like any other BOOT CAMP.
  • The class will run on a schedule: 9 – 5 Monday to Friday, with scheduled breaks, like any other BOOT CAMP.
  • You get immediate access to three TCO Certification Packages, with their online courses.
  • No travel required.
  • Anyone worldwide can take BOOT CAMP.
  • All you need is a laptop with a webcam.

This is an ideal time to get the training you need!

You’ll get the course materials shipped to you: two printed color books totaling over 500 pages with copies of all graphics and detailed text notes.

You will also get immediate access to the included TCO Certification Packages: CTNS, CTA and CVA and their twenty full-length online courses, with no time limits and unlimited repeats.

You’ll get the full BOOT CAMP with our top instructor, as close as you can get without actually being there.

If you are an international participant, this is your opportunity to take BOOT CAMP. No US travel visa required!

Carpe diem!

Get more info

BOOT CAMP Live Online Instructor-Led Training Request

Want to take Boot Camp, but need to get approval. Here is a message you can send to your supervisor for approval.

BOOT CAMP Live Online Instructor-Led Training Request

Dear [Manager]

I need to get training on telecom to do my job effectively, and to that end, I would like to request permission to register for Teracom Training Institute’s Live Online telecom BOOT CAMP seminar the week of May 3-7.

www.teracomtraining.com/boot-camp.htm
detailed outline: www.teracomtraining.com/courses/teracom-brochure-course-111.pdf 
course listing: www.teracomtraining.com/public_seminars.htm#LO

Teracom Training Institute specializes in telecommunications training for non-engineering professionals, which is exactly what I need.

I need this training because I have learned some things technology-wise “on the job”; but am frustrated by gaps in my knowledge, especially when people start speaking in jargon and buzzwords.  Not being up to speed on it all is unproductive, frustrating and a bit awkward.

This training will improve my productivity, accuracy and efficiency… and enable me to contribute a lot more, having a knowledge base in the technologies and the jargon.

Being part of a live online class will keep me away from distractions, so I can concentrate and learn what I need.  Instructor-led training is how I learn best.  Plus, the high-quality detailed course books they will ship directly to me before the course will be good references going forward.

Teracom is the leader in this kind of training… type “telecommunications training” into Google and Teracom Training Institute comes up #1 in the search results. They’ve been doing this since 1992, and by all accounts are very good at it… virtually all of their ratings on Google are 5 stars: https://g.page/teracomtraining. They have a GSA contract for this training, which means they have been thoroughly vetted.

One thing that I like about Teracom’s BOOT CAMP is that it is totally up-to-date, starting with broadband and IP telecom network fundamentals, cloud computing and data centers, LTE and 5G, Optical Ethernet, VoIP, SIP trunking and IoT, plus a module on security.

Here is the five-day outline:

Day 1: Fundamentals, Cloud Computing and Data Centers        
Day 2: Wireless, Fiber and Copper; Equipment and Carriers      
Day 3: IP Networking and addresses plus MPLS, SLAs and Class of Service Guarantees
Day 4: VoIP and SIP: Fundamentals and Technologies, Softswitch as a Service
Day 5: Security, 5G and IoT

It comes with two course books printed in color shipped directly to me.

As a bonus, three TCO Certification Packages: CTNS, CVA and CTA are included, along with their courses and certification exams. There are no time limits or expiration dates on the bonus online courses.

This is the training I need. It will give me a solid base, fill in gaps and get me up to speed on the jargon, technologies and standard practices across the board.

Besides alleviating the frustrating jargon and buzzwords situation, it makes good business sense for me to attend. This training will make me more accurate – understanding the big picture, the ensemble of technologies and how they relate – and this can only make me (and therefore you) more productive and save the organization money.

The in-class discussions and case studies are also an excellent opportunity for me to discuss the general outlines of our situation and find out what others are doing.

The tuition is only $1895 for five days of professional training. I checked around and found other companies like Global Knowledge charge double or more for similar week-long courses, without the included online courses and certifications, and without the printed books.

There is an optional companion reference textbook at $89 I’d like to get as well.

Please let me know if I can get this training.

Thank you,

Tutorial: How to Use Cellular as Backup Internet Access When Your DSL, Cable or Fiber Internet Dies

The Internet connection at your office dies. Lights on your modem are flashing in a strange pattern. You call the ISP, and they quickly diagnose that the modem power supply has failed, and they will overnight you a replacement. Presumably you are not the first person to have this problem with that modem.

So how do you continue to operate while you are waiting for the replacement power supply? It’s hard to run your business without e-mail and ordering and administration systems, which are all accessed via the Internet.

If you want availability, you need two connections to the Internet, so if one fails you are not out of business. We go over this in the lesson “Mature Competitive Carrier Network: Regional Rings, POPs and MANs”, slide 3.17 of Course 101, Telecom Datacom and Networking for Non-Engineers, and mention it in pretty much every other course.

A large business will be a station on a Metropolitan Area Network, which is a ring, meaning two connections to the Internet for that business and automatic reconfiguration in the case of one failing. But this is expensive… the second connection is not free.

Small and medium businesses usually have a single DSL or cable modem connection to the Internet. When that fails, connectivity to email, ordering and administration servers is impossible, and many businesses these days would be “dead in the water” until the ISP fixes the problem with their hardware.

Unless you have an Android smartphone, a good “data” plan and a laptop with WiFi running Windows.

The scenario described happened at our office last week. Since many of our customers might find themselves in a similar situation – even at home – I thought I’d share the quick and painless solution I came up with. Even if you’re not likely to need this solution, understanding how it works will no doubt sharpen your understanding of the devices involved and their functions.

In this tutorial, I will use the technology in our office: 50 Mb/s DSL, Android smartphone and Windows laptop. The solution is equally applicable to an Internet connection using a cable modem or if you are one of the lucky few, an Internet connection via fiber.

For the smartphone and laptop, there may be equivalent functions on Apple products, but as I am allergic to Apples, we don’t have any in the office. I’m posting this tutorial on our our Facebook page, our GoogleMyBusiness page, or our blog; I invite someone better able to tolerate Apple products to leave a comment whether and how the iPhone and MacBook can perform the required functions.

normal office lan and wired internet connection

The diagram above illustrates the normal network setup in our office, a typical configuration for networking at a small or medium business. On the left is the access circuit to the Internet Service Provider (ISP), terminating on a modem in our office.

The modem is contained in a box that also includes a computer and an Ethernet switch. This box is more properly called the Customer Edge (CE). The computer in the CE runs many different computer programs performing various functions: Stateful Packet Inspection firewall, DHCP server offering private IP addresses to the computers in-building, DHCP client obtaining a public IP address from the ISP, a Network Address Translation function between the two, routing, port forwarding and more.

In-building is a collection of desktop computers, servers and network printers. These are connected with Category 5e LAN cables to Gigabit Ethernet LAN switches, one of which is also connected to the CE.

When a desktop computer is restarted, its DHCP client obtains a private IP address and Domain Name Server (DNS) address from the DHCP server in the CE. The private address of the CE is configured as the “default gateway” for the desktop by Windows.

When a desktop computer wants to communicate with a server over the Internet, it looks up the server’s numeric IP address via the DNS, then creates a packet from the desktop to the Internet server and transmits it to its default gateway, the CE. The NAT function in the CE changes the addresses on the packet to be from the CE to the Internet server and forwards the packet to the ISP via the modem and access circuit. The response from the Internet server is relayed to the CE, where the NAT changes the destination address on the return packet to be the desktop’s private address and relays it to the desktop.

The solution for restoring Internet access after the CE died is illustrated below.

emergency cut line backup of business internet using cellular

An Android smartphone and a laptop running Windows were used to restore connectivity to the Internet without making any changes to the desktops, servers or network printers.

First, I took my Samsung/Google Nexus smartphone running Android out of my pocket and plugged in the charger. Then on its menu under Settings > more > Tethering & portable hotspot > Set up Wi-Fi hotspot, I entered a Network SSID (“TERACOM”) and a password, clicked Save, then clicked Portable Wi-Fi hotspot to turn it on. The smartphone is now acting as a wireless LAN Access Point, just like any other WiFi AP at Starbucks, in the airport or in your home.

At this point, the smartphone is the CE device, performing all of the same functions that the DSL CE device had been before it died: firewall, DHCP client to get a public IP address from the ISP (now via cellular), DHCP server to assign private IP addresses to any clients that wanted to connect (now via WiFi), NAT to translate between the two and router to forward packets.

Just as the DSL CE equipment “bridged” or connected the DSL modem on the ISP side to the Ethernet LAN in-building, allowing all the devices on the LAN to send and receive packets to/from the Internet via DSL, the smartphone “bridges” or connects the cellular modem on the ISP side to the WiFi wireless Ethernet LAN in-building, allowing all the devices on the wireless LAN to send and receive packets to/from the Internet via cellular radio.

The remaining problem was that none of the desktops or servers had wireless LAN cards in them, so they could not connect to the smartphone AP and hence the smartphone’s cellular Internet connection.

What was needed was a device to “bridge” or connect the wired LAN to the wireless LAN in-building. By definition, this device would need two LAN interfaces: a physical Ethernet jack to plug into the wired LAN, plus a wireless LAN capability. Looking around the office, I spotted two devices that fit this description. One of them was my laptop, with both a LAN jack and wireless LAN.

I fired up the laptop, plugged it into an Ethernet switch with a LAN cable, and in the Network and Sharing Center, clicked Change Adapter Settings to get to the Network Connections screen that showed the two LAN interfaces.

I enabled both the wired and wireless LAN interfaces. Then right-clicking the Wireless Network Connection icon, selected the TERACOM wireless network and entered the password.

Once that was successfully connected, I selected the two adapters in the Network Connections screen, right-clicked and chose “Bridge Connections”. A message saying “Please wait while Windows bridges the connections” appeared, then an icon called “Network Bridge” appeared, and after a few seconds, “TERACOM” appeared as well.

My laptop was now acting as an Ethernet switch, connecting the wired LAN to the smartphone’s wireless LAN.

Each of the desktops, servers and network printers in the office had to be rebooted so they would run their DHCP client again, obtaining a private IP address and DNS address from the smartphone AP, and be configured so the smartphone was the “default gateway” in Windows.

After rebooting my desktop computer, it had Internet access over the wired LAN, through the wired Ethernet switch to my laptop, to the smartphone via WiFi then to the ISP over cellular. After rebooting the other desktops and servers, all had Internet access again, with no changes to the configuration of the desktops or servers.

This took about 20 minutes to get up and running, and we were back in business. Running a bandwidth test on speedtest.net, I found we had exactly 5 Mb/s connection to the Internet via cellular. Obviously my cellular service provider limited the connection to 5 Mb/s in software – but who’s complaining? 5 Mb/s is more than three times as fast as a T1, which cost $20,000 per month when I first started in this business 20 years ago.

I hope you found this tutorial useful, either as a template for your own emergency backup Internet connection, or simply as a way of better understanding the devices, their functions and relationships.
— EC

Note 1: You must verify your billing plan for “data” on your cellular contract before doing this. I have 40 GB included, which means basically unlimited, and that includes the WiFi hotspot traffic. Make sure you have something similar, to avoid receiving a bill for $10,000 for casual “data” usage.

Note 2: As always, this tutorial is provided as general background information only. We do not guarantee it will work for you. Each situation is unique and requires professional advice to identify and resolve issues including but not limited to performance and security. This tutorial is not professional advice. But I hope you have found it valuable.

Note 3: I might have been able to implement this without the laptop. If you’d like to know that, or what was the other device I could have used to bridge the wired and wireless LAN in-building, or suggest how this could be done with Apple products, please leave a comment on our Facebook page, our GoogleMyBusiness page, or our blog.

BOOT CAMP LIVE ONLINE May 5-7

BOOT CAMP is running strong during the pandemic Live Online!

All you need to join BOOT CAMP Live Online and get this world-famous training is Internet, a laptop with a webcam and Zoom.

We’ll ship you the high-quality printed color course books in advance of the BOOT CAMP, and you’ll be part of a class that runs 9 – 5 ET Monday – Friday.

The best part: BOOT CAMP was totally updated for 2020, with 5G, Cloud Computing, Data Centers, Smart Cities & more, just before the pandemic struck!  This is the most up-to-date telecom-for-non-engineers training that can be found anywhere.  This is truly career-enhancing knowledge.

Get more info button

Teracom BOOT CAMP Live Online is a great opportunity:

  • Live interactive group training, guaranteed coronavirus-free!
  • You will be part of a class.
  • You will be able to see and hear everyone else.
  • We’ll ship you the high-quality printed color course books in advance.
  • The instructor will teach the class like any other BOOT CAMP.
  • The instructor will keep you focused, so you learn, like any other BOOT CAMP.
  • You can ask the instructor questions, like any other BOOT CAMP.
  • The class will run on a schedule: 9 – 5 ET Monday to Friday, with scheduled breaks, like any other BOOT CAMP.
  • You get immediate access to three TCO Certification Packages, with their online courses.
  • No travel required.
  • Anyone worldwide can take BOOT CAMP.
  • All you need is a laptop with a webcam.

Get the training you need!

You’ll get the course materials shipped to you: two printed color books totaling over 500 pages with copies of all graphics and detailed text notes.  You will also get immediate access to the included TCO Certification Packages: CTNS, CTA and CVA and their twenty full-length online courses, with no time limits and unlimited repeats.

You’ll get the full BOOT CAMP with a live instructor, as close as you can get without actually being there.

If you are an international participant, this is your opportunity to take BOOT CAMP if you can’t travel to the USA for a public seminar.  No travel visa required!

Here’s a cut and paste training request form to send to your boss!

Get more info button

CTNS Upgrade Coming: Buy Now to Get Two Courses Free!

CTNS logo

New Course 2241 Introduction to Broadband Telecommunications along with existing Course 2221 Fundamentals of Voice over IP will be added to the CTNS Certification Package before year-end.

The price of the CTNS package will increase when the number of courses increases from six to eight. Since all existing customers will automatically get the two new courses at no additional charge, you can beat the price increase by purchasing CTNS before the upgrade and get the two new courses, when they are released, for free!

Wireless Telecommunications Course Updated! New Lesson on 5G

Course 2206 Wireless Telecommunications has received a major update including 5G, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and more. Free access for current customers.

Updates of TCO Certification courses continue to roll out with a major new release of Course 2206 Wireless Telecommunications, a comprehensive course on wireless, including radio fundamentals, cellular and mobile telecommunications, LTE, 5G, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and more.

Wireless Telecommunications logo
Course 2206 Wireless Telecommunications

All current customers will automatically see the updated version in their dashboard.

If you’re not already registered for this course, we invite you to join the many people who have benefited from gaining these knowledge skills… and TCO Certification to prove it!

Taking this course, you will develop a solid understanding of the fundamental principles of radio, mobility and cellular, network components and operation, digital radio, mobile phone calls and mobile Internet access, spectrum-sharing technologies like OFDM, and LTE and 5G. In addition, you will get up to speed on the components, operation and latest standards for Wi-Fi, and the essentials of satellite communications.

We’ll cut through the jargon to demystify wireless, explaining the fundamentals of cellular and mobility, the buzzwords, the network, technologies and generations, the underlying ideas, and how it all works together… in plain English.

Course Lessons
1. Introduction (free sample lesson)
2. Mobile Network Components, Jargon and Operation
3. Cellular Principles
4. PSTN Phone Calls using the Phone App: Voice Minutes
5. Mobile Internet: Data Plan
6. Spectrum-Sharing: FDMA, TDMA, CDMA, OFDM
7. 4G LTE: Mobile Broadband
8. 5G New Radio: Enhanced Mobile Broadband, IoT Communications
9. Wi-Fi: 802.11 Wireless LANs (free sample lesson)
10. Communication Satellites

detailed course descriptionvery detailed PDF brochureregister

Course 2206 Wireless Telecommunications is available on its own, or included in CTNS, CTA and CTSME Certification Packages.