Accessibility statement

Mobile Communications and Internet Protocols - ELE00077H

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  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Paul Mitchell
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This module covers the two most important communication systems worldwide: the Internet and mobile communication systems. It provides an understanding of the fundamental concepts of both systems, including their development, fundamental design, operation and performance.

One part of this module introduces the fundamental concepts of different Internet and LAN protocols developed for computer networks. In particular, this part of the module begins with a short history of LANs and the Internet and then covers different network architectures, key techniques and protocols used in the Internet, including flow control, error control and error detection techniques; different multiple access techniques; IEEE 802 project; IP address assignment; transport and network layer protocols; congestion control techniques; routeing algorithms and routeing protocols.

In terms of mobile communication systems, this module provides an insight into how mobile phones and the underpinning network technology has evolved over the generations of standards. Important cellular network design principles and core technologies are covered, including: traffic models and quality of service; wireless propagation and large scale channel models; cellular planning; practical deployments; multiple access techniques and interference management; capacity calculations; CDMA fundamentals; 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G standards.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

Subject content aims:

For the Internet protocols part of the module, fundamental concepts of different Internet and LAN protocols developed for computer networks will be introduced. The students will develop skills in understanding basic functions of the Internet and corresponding LAN protocols.

For the Mobile communication systems part of the module, fundamental concepts associated with the design and operation of mobile communication systems will be introduced. The students will develop an understanding of important underlying technologies and their application in mobile communication standards. In particular, the following topics will be covered:

In particular, the following topics will be covered:

  • Ethernet networks, MAC and LLC, IEEE project 802, switches hubs and bridging

  • Internet protocol (lPv4 and v6), TCP, UDP, ICMP, ARP, DHCP

  • Routeing algorithms and the Routing Information Protocol (RIP).

  • The domain name system (DNS) and Internet addressing

  • The history of cellular communications and the first, second, third, fourth and fifth generation standards

  • Traffic modelling for typical mobile applications including the specification of important quality of service requirements

  • Wireless propagation mechanisms and a range of large-scale channel models and their use in dimensioning mobile communication systems

  • Cellular network planning and constraints and issues surrounding practical deployments

  • Multiple access techniques and interference mitigation techniques

  • Methods for dimensioning and evaluating the capacity of mobile communication networks

Module learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, the students will:

  • Understand the development of the Internet.

  • Be able to realise the protocol stacks

  • Know different error control, flow control and error detection techniques on the Internet

  • Describe different types of multiple access protocols

  • Be able to assign IP addresses

  • Be able to define the functions of protocols at different layers: IP, UDP, TCP, ICMP, ARP and DHCP

  • Describe TCP congestion control, names and DNS

  • Know different routeing algorithms and routeing protocols

  • Describe the key characteristics of the different mobile communication standards and the motivation behind the development of each generation of standards

  • Be able to compare alternative approaches to traffic modelling and specify suitable models for mobile applications including quality of service requirements

  • Be able to use large-scale channel models or propagation measurement data to appropriately dimension cells

  • Be able to determine an appropriate frequency-reuse strategy for a mobile communication system and propose methods for enhancing the capacity of deployed networks

  • Explain how fundamental multiple access techniques work and how a range of techniques can be used to mitigate against interference

  • Be able to appropriately dimension and calculate the capacity of simple FDMA, TDMA and CDMA terrestrial scenarios

  • Describe the principal features and technologies employed in standards.

Module content

The lab sessions are designed to give some basic “hands-on” experience of seeing how TCP/IP networks actually work. The students will be looking at the FTP, TCP, UDP, IP, ICMP, DNS, DHCP, ARP and Ethernet protocols in particular. The aim is to demystify the way networks work, give some hands-on experience of the use of protocol analysers, and illustrate the protocols discussed in the notes and lectures. All of the exercises are carried out using virtual machines running under MS windows and using private virtual networks.


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Mobile Communications and Internet Protocols Exam
2.5 hours 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Closed-book exam - worth 100% of the module mark. This will comprise two sections (Section A on Mobile Comms and Section B on Internet Protocols). Each section will have two questions and the students should answer one question from each section. Any special formulas or additional information will be provided as part of the examination paper.


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Mobile Communications and Internet Protocols Exam
2.5 hours 100

Module feedback

'Feedback’ at a university level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme. We aim to help you reflect on your own learning and help you feel more clear about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you in both formative and summative assessments. A comprehensive guide to feedback and to forms of feedback is available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback.

The School of PET aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme. In general, feedback on any written work/assignments undertaken will be sufficient so as to indicate the nature of the changes needed in order to improve the work. The School will endeavour to return all exam feedback within the timescale set out in the University's Policy on Assessment Feedback Turnaround Time. The School would normally expect to adhere to the times given, however, it is possible that exceptional circumstances may delay feedback. The School will endeavour to keep such delays to a minimum. Please note that any marks released are subject to ratification by the Board of Examiners and Senate. Meetings at the start/end of each term provide you with an opportunity to discuss and reflect with your supervisor on your overall performance to date.

Statement of Feedback

Formative Feedback

  • Problem sheets will be provided and discussed in workshops, with worked solutions provided where appropriate.

  • The lab sessions will provide the opportunity to ask questions and receive verbal help and feedback about your progress in developing practical skills.

Questions can be asked at any time, and will be answered as soon as possible.

Indicative reading

  • Stallings “Data and Computer Communications”

  • Tanenbaum “Computer Networks”

  • Comer “Computer Networks”

  • Kozierok “The TCP/IP Guide”

  • Stevens “TCP/IP Illustrated Vol.1”

  • Molisch, “Wireless Communications”

  • Saunders, “Antennas and Propagation for Wireless Communication Systems”

  • Rappaport, “Wireless Communications: Principles and Practice”

  • Agrawal, “Introduction to Wireless & Mobile Systems”

  • Holma, “LTE for UMTS: OFDMA and SC-FDMA Based Radio Access”

  • Smol, Hamer and Hills, “Telecommunications: a systems approach”

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.