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Education & Training

Online Course

28 - 29 October 2021 - 9:00 am to 1:30 pm EDT

Registration closes on 26 October 2021 at 5:00pm EDT

Online via WebEx


$279 IEEE ComSoc member
$349 IEEE member
$459 non-member

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Course Description

This course is presented over two days consisting of both lectures and hands-on components.  The central topic of the course is the study of architectures and protocols to enable virtualization in future communication networks, with a specific focus on mobile networks (5G and beyond).  Softwarization and virtualization are considered vital in the next generation of communication networks, as seen in the current framework of 5G as standardization moves from New Radio to the infrastructure and management aspects.  This course presents a holistic understanding of such technologies, and it proposes both theoretical as well as practical concepts.  An extensive hands-on component is included in this course, where participants will learn how to use the discussed technologies.

The technical issues addressed by the course will include:

  • Introductory session: Presenting the reasoning on the need for computing in communication networks, this introduction will provide a picture of the evolution of networks up to present day.  Instructors will discuss 5G basics, requirements, evolution from 4G and current standardization status and beyond. The hands-on practice environment and its concepts will be also introduced during this part of the course.
  • Key theoretical concepts: The first part of this session will address Software Defined Networking (SDN) and will describe conceptual issues and design opportunities deriving from the detachment of the control plane from the data plane, network programmability, and existing solutions in the SDN eco-system (mainly OpenFlow, but with an overview of ONOS and P4).  Next the instructors will cover Network Function Virtualization (NFV),  discussing conceptual issues and design opportunities deriving from the abstraction of network functionalities from dedicated hardware, performance issues, and existing solutions for NFV (docker, OpenStack).
  • Hands-on sessions on SDN and NFV:  This portion of the course will provide participants with an opportunity to review the concepts presented earlier in the course in a practical environment.
  • Concepts and hands-on on advanced network services:  The instructors will discuss Mobile Edge Cloud, Network Coding, as well as Machine Learning and Compressed Sensing applications. Pre-defined examples in the distributed Virtual Machine will be used to illustrate the practical implementation of such concepts and enable the participants to “play” with such technologies themselves.
  • Advanced topics will be reviewed at the end of the course, allowing time for a question and answer session with the participants.

The course is the first of its kind that tries to build up a holistic understanding of the technologies supporting the development of the next generation of communication networks (e.g. 5G), and proposes both theoretical as well as practical concepts – including extensive hands-on where the attendees will learn how to use the presented technologies.

In fact, besides the theoretical subjects above, the course will also address the issues about actual deployment and implementation of such concepts, by introducing to the participants the proper open-source software tools to use for experimentation.  Details regarding the software to download and install will be shared with participants in advance of the course, so that they will are ready to participate in real-time during the hands-on experience. Practical sessions will be explored step-by-step by the instructors as well as in supplemental materials.

The course is based on a book written by the instructors on “Computing in Communication Networks,” which was recently published by Elsevier in May 2020.

Information about Hands-on Session:

For the hands-on component of this course, the instructors will provide participants with a link to download the Virtual Machine (VM) to their own computers.  This way, every participant will be able to follow the hands-on examples on their own laptop by installing and starting the VM.  Please note that instructors will not be able to provide troubleshooting support regarding the Virtual Machine.

Who Should Attend

The course is intended for people with an interest in the design of virtual networks and in deploying applications on such novel infrastructures. The course will cover both theory and hands-on activities, thus making it of particular interest to university students (master/PhD), telco companies as well as services/Over-the-Top companies.

Prerequisites for participants is basic knowledge of networking and the availability of a laptop with some virtualization software (e.g. Virtual Box or similar).  Participants will be provided link to download Virtual Machine in advance of the course.


Fabrizio Granelli

Fabrizio Granelli

Ph.D., Full Professor

University of Trento (Italy)

Frank Fitzek

Frank Fitzek

Professor, Coordinator

TU Dresden, 5G lab Germany

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course participants will have:

  • Basic knowledge about Software Defined Networking
  • Basic knowledge about Network Function Virtualization
  • Concept and implementation of Network Slicing
  • Hands-on experience on OpenFlow SDN networks
  • Hands-on experience on containerizing an application or service
  • Capability to design and implement Mobile Edge Cloud services

Course Content


Part 1: Introduction & Key Theoretical Concepts for Future Communication Networks and Systems (2 hours)

  • On the Need of Computing in Future Communication Networks
  • Standardization Activities for Future Communication Networks
  • Theoretical Concepts:
    • Network Slicing
    • Mobile Edge Cloud
    • Content Distribution
  • Q&A session

Part 2: Enabling Technologies Detailed w/ Hands-On (2 hours)

  • Introduction to the hands-on environment:
    • Mininet: An Instant Virtual Network on Your Computer
    • Docker: Containerize Your Network Function
    • ComNetsEmu: A Lightweight Emulator
    • Useful networking tools
  • Software-Defined Networking (with hands-on lab on OpenFlow and Ryu controller)
  • Network Function Virtualization (with hands-on lab on docker)


Part 3: Merging SDN & NFV: Computing in Communication Networks w/ Hands-On (2 hours)

  • SDN and NFV as enablers for future services
  • Hands-on on Comnetsemu environment (echo server example)
  • Hands-on on simple service migration

Part 4: Deploying In-Network Innovative Technologies W/ Hands-On (1.5 hours)

  • Mobile Edge Cloud (with hands-on lab on MEC and security)
  • Network Coding (with hands-on on transport and storage applications)
  • Compressed Sensing (with hands-on examples)

Part 5: Additional Lab Activities (0.5 hours)

  • Connecting the testbed Virtual Machine to the Outer World
  • Integrating Software Defined Radios
  • Final Q&A session

Course Materials

Each registered participant receives a copy of instructor slides and access to the recording of the course for 20 business days after the live lecture. Earn 0.6 IEEE Continuing Education Units for participating.

Upon registration, you will automatically be emailed the WebEx invitation for the course session, but you will also be sent a reminder message to join the WebEx session prior to the start of the course. Course materials will be emailed to you and will be available for download from the WebEx session page for this course, the day prior to the scheduled course date.

Course Cancellation and Refund Policy: Requests for online course cancellations must be received 3 business days prior to the course date for a full refund. Once course materials have been shared with a participant, a cancellation request cannot be accommodated.

Contact Us

For general inquiries and technical support, contact Tara McNally, Certification and Professional Education Manager.

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