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REPORT ON STUDENT INDUSTRIAL WORK EXPERIENCE

SCHEME (SIWES)

TRAINING PROGRAMME
(MARCH – AUGUST 2010)

AT

NG COM LIMITED

BY
UNUFE ELOHO ENAHORO

(07CH06077)

MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS, COMPUTER AND


INFORMATION SCIENCES,

COVENANT UNIVERSITY

BEING A REPORT SUBMITTED TO THE SIWES DIRECTOR


IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR
(CSM 329)

SIWES DIRECTOR/AG. DEAN CST: PROF C.T AKO

SEPTEMBER 2010.
Dedication
Acknowledgements
Table of Contents
Abstract
INTRODUCTION
I was opportuned to carry out my six months industrial attachment at NGCOM Limited located
at No.13 West-End Hospital Rd. off Airport Rd. Warri. NGCOM Limited, an ISP (Internet
Service Provider) provides fixed wireless services, VSAT installation and maintenance, Hotspot
solutions, Training & Logistics, Network & Storage Design.

NGcom Limited, duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, (CAC) is a company
formed by the merger of Neutron Networks (Warri, Nigeria) and Greenish Solutions (Lagos,
Nigeria) The Company’s came together to form a strategic partnership to better provide
Technology oriented services and products in an efficient and cost effective manner to its clients.
NGCom Organogram

Company Head Quarters:


10 Emma Abimbola Cole
Road 26
Lekki Phase 1, Lagos State,
Nigeria.

Warri Office
No. 13, West –End Hospital Road, DDPA,
off Airport Rd. Warri Delta State,
Nigeria.

United Kingdom Office

Unit 201 Regent Business House


291 Kirkdale
London SE26 4QD
United Kingdom

MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission at NGCom is to exceed our customer’s expectation, with our superior customer and
technical support, while exceeding our staff expectation.

To provide quality, affordable and dependable network solutions to the average Nigerian in
particular and to the West African public in general.
To provide customers with a complete solution to all their current and future internet and private
network needs

VISION STATEMENT

To be the best customer focused network service provider in every nook and cranny in West
Africa

VALUES

Our People: We cherish honesty, true loyalty and support for One Another with Strong
Commitment to Individual Growth and Corporate Excellence.

Our Work: We are committed to world class service in a timely and accurate manner, using
resources responsibly.

Our Relationship: We value the opinions and ideas of our customers as well as those of our
stakeholders and we readily reciprocate integrity and professionalism.

Our Strength: We are powered by good leadership, team spirit, reward for accomplishment
and employee involvement at all levels.

Our Environment: We enjoy teamwork in an exciting, friendly and serene environment.


NGCom SERVICES

NGCom Broadband

NGcom broadband service provides users the opportunity to access the internet and other value
added services via plug –n-play hardware to the laptop, desktop anywhere the NGCom signal is
present. Using state-of-the-art non-line-of-site CPEs are intelligent, rugged, compactly built and
multi-functional. With antennas and Internet card, they are designed for maximum signal
reception.

Key Benefits of NGCom Broadband


Easy to install, cheap to obtain, no need for mast or high structures, non-line-of-sight signal
transmission/reception, flexible payment scheme, CPEs built for all weather conditions (rugged),
limited and unlimited access on pay-as-you-go basis.

NGCom VSAT
NGCom VSAT's unique end-to-end technology provides all the flexibility, capability and
reliability that corporate customers need to support critical business applications. With its
superior and proven technology, this product package, conveniently delivers bi-directional ku-
band connectivity, easily and efficiently, while delivering amazing speeds. This product supports
all corporate applications and can be deployed in any geographical location, giving you fast,
cost-effective broadband IP connectivity anywhere your business is located.

Key Benefits of NGCom VSAT

Fast, cost-effective broadband IP connectivity can be deployed in any geographical location, it


supports VPN solutions, 24 hours customer and technical support 24/7, based on a flexible plan
which offers you the opportunity to pay for just the bandwidth you need, and dedicated
bandwidth ensures a steady user browsing experience.

NGCom Tripleplay
TriplePlay network supports the following applications:
1) Internet Access
2) TV over Ip distribution with channel browsing on return path
3) Voice over Ip (provision for optional application)
All applications will run on the same physical links but on separate VLANs. It will support all
applications in dedicated VLAN and will also support the Multicast Routing features necessary
for offering the MPEG video streams to the users. It will interface with the broadband
distribution system and supply some services as Inter-Vlan routing, Quality of Service tagging,
Internet access and DHCP service for user’s CPE (Customer Premise Equipment).

NGCom Consulting

NGCom helps businesses and home computer users choose, implement, and maintain the right
computer and technology solutions. Customers may have a particular set of needs which our
Computer Trouble-shooters are uniquely qualified to satisfy.
NGCom can also the following services:
1) Website and virtual domain hosting.
2) Server colocation.
3) Network design, installation, and administration services.
4) Web design (currently outsourced)
5) Capacity leasing
NGCom provides internet services to its clients through;

1. Fixed wireless technology.

2. VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal).

FIXED WIRELESS

Fixed wireless is the operation of wireless devices or systems used to connect two fixed locations
(e.g., buildings) with a radio or CPEs (Customer Premises Equipment). Usually, fixed wireless is
part of a wireless LAN infrastructure. The purpose of a fixed wireless link is to enable data
communications between the two sites or buildings. Fixed wireless data (FWD) links are often a
cost-effective alternative to leasing fibre or installing cables between the buildings.

VSAT

Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) is a two-way satellite ground station or a stabilized Vsat
antenna with a dish antenna that is smaller than 3 meters.

A VSAT network has three components:

-A central hub (also called a master earth station)

-The satellite

-A VSAT earth

NGCom monitors the network and transmits with the following;


1. NOC (Network Operations Centre).
2. Data Centre.
3. Repeater Stations

NETWORK OPERATIONS CENTER

Network operations center, the physical space from which the NGCom network is managed,
monitored and supervised. The NOC coordinates network troubles, provides problem
management and router configuration services, manages network changes, allocates and manages
domain names and IP addresses, monitors routers, switches, hubs and UPS systems that keep the
network operating smoothly, manages the distribution and updating of software and coordinates
with affiliated networks. The NOC also provides both hotline and remote support to clients
experiencing network troubles.

DATA CENTER

The NGCom data computer systems and associated components, such the Mikrotik server,
Proxy Server, modems, VPN (virtual private network) devices, switches, KVM (keyboard video
mouse) and NAS (network attached storage) systems. The data center also contains redundant or
backup power supplies, redundant data connections, environmental controls (e.g., air
conditioning, fire suppression) and security devices.

REPEATER STATIONS

Network repeaters regenerate incoming wireless signals. With physical media like Ethernet or
Wi-Fi, data transmissions only span a limited distance before the quality of the signal degrades.
Repeaters attempt to preserve signal integrity and extend the distance over which data can safely
travel. In Wi-Fi, access points function as repeaters only when operating in so-called "repeater
mode."

A typical NGCom repeater station consists of the following;

1. 120ft Mast.

2. 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz receiver CPEs.

3. 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz receiver Sector antennas.

4. 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz transmitter CPEs.

5. 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz transmitter Omni or Sector antennas.

6. Fast Ethernet 10/100Mbps Switches.

7. PoEs (Power over Ethernet).

8. 1KVA Inverter and batteries.


Chapter One: Introduction: Participation / Work Done

While at NGCom I worked in the networking engineering department of the company, which
deals with the installation, maintenance, of internet services to individual clients, Soho (Small
Office Home Office) and co-operate bodies. This department also monitors the network and
provides either onsite or remote support to clients who experience network related issues. During
my stay at the company I worked with the following network devices.

During my six months industrial attachment at NGCom I participated in the following:

-Site surveys.

-CPE installation and configuration.

-Client Support.

-Network Monitoring at the NOC (Network operations Center)

-Systems maintenance.

-Wireless router configuration.

-Assistance during VSAT installations.

SITE SURVEYS

Surveying the site is the first step in a good installation. Site survey is the first step in the

deployment of a CPE and the most important step to ensure proper operation of the CPE. The
site survey is a task-by-task process by which I study the client’s environment, discover NGCom
network SSIDs, check for interference and determine the appropriate placement of the CPE
device. Some of the basic equipment and utilities that are required for the completion of a site
survey include Wireless access point, Laptop computer, Site survey utility software e.g. Ubiquiti
discovery v2.3, Locator.
The four main requirements that need to be taken care of while a site survey is performed are:

-High Availability of network signal

-Estimation of the CAT5 cable length

-Manageability

-Interoperability

A proper site survey provides detailed information that addresses coverage, interference sources,
equipment placement, power considerations and wiring requirements. The site survey serves as a
guide for network design and for the installation and verification of the Wireless communication
infrastructure.

CPE INSTALLATIONS AND CONFIGURATION

While at NGCom I performed a lot of client installations. A successful CPE installation can only
be possible after a proper site survey has been carried out. The first step in an installation is to
mount the CPE high enough to avoid interference, then aligning it with the signal path. The next
step is plugging your already crimped CAT5 cable (not more than 50m) into the AP port of the
PoE (Power over Ethernet) Injector and the other end into the CPE, then one end of another
Ethernet cable into the Network port of the PoE Injector and another end into your PC/Notebook.
The CPE IP address configuration is the next step. In order to log into this device, you must first
configure the TCP/IP settings of your PC.

PC TCP/IP Setting Configuration

1. In the control panel, double click Network Connections and then double click on the
connection of your Network Interface Card (NIC).

2. Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and then click on the Properties button. This will allow
you to configure the TCP/IP settings of the PC.

3. Select Use the following IP Address radio button and then enter the IP address and subnet
mask. Ensure that the IP address and subnet mask are on the same subnet as the device.
For Example: Device IP address: 192.168.1.20

PC IP address: 192.168.1.254

PC subnet mask: 255.255.255.0

After configuring the TCP/IP settings of the PC, the next step is logging into the CPE with
default device IP address via a web browser. Then configure the CPE in client mode which
allows it to receive data from NGCom. The next step is associating the CPE to any of NGCom’s
repeaters with the highest signal strength and link quality depending on the geographical location
of the client. The next step is to configure NGCom’s network IP on the device, the change the
Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) settings on the NIC to automatic.

After the CPE installation and configuration, the CPE should be tested to ensure that it transmits
and receives data at optimum speeds. The NGCom networks transmit at speeds of up to 600kb/s.

Screenshot of a configured ubnt nanostation5 CPE


Installed ubnt nanostation5 CPE

CLIENT SUPPORT

Client support is all about providing support to customers experiencing networks problems.
During my stay at NGCom I provided support to clients on a day –to-day basis. Client’s
problems may be as a result of network issues or problems with their connections, CPE
configuration, PoE problem etc. I usually provided support to clients in any of the following
ways.

1. Hotline Support: Hotline support takes place when the client calls the company
customer support lines. In this case I provide support to clients after inquiring about their
problem, and then instruct them on what to do.

2. Remote Support: Remote support can only be done from the company’s network
operations center. In this case I provide client support by accessing a client CPE remotely
with different programs depending on the type of CPE in question.

3. On-site Support: Onsite takes place when the client’s CPE cannot be accessed from the
company NOC. In this case depending on the nature of the problem it might involve a
reinstallation, reconfiguration, cat5 cable crimping or replacement of the PoE or even the
CPE.

NETWORK MONITORING

Network monitoring is all about constantly monitoring the network for slow or failing
components and providing solutions or other network engineers in case of outages. The NGCom
network is monitored from the NOC (network operations center). I monitored the using 3
programs namely;

1. Mikrotik Winbox

2. The Dude network monitor

3. Teamviewer

Mikrotik Winbox

Mikrotik Winbox is for monitoring the Mirkrotik server. This program displayed the following
information about clients logged on the network;

-IP address assigned by the server

-CPE’s MAC (Media access control) address

-Client username

-Client Uptime

-Client Session time-out

-Log of clients logging on and off the network

-Log of IP addresses assigned by the DHCP server.


Winbox monitoring tool

The Dude Network Monitor


The Dude Network Monitor automatically scan all devices within specified subnets, draw and
layout a map of your networks, monitor services of your devices and alert you in case some
service has problems.

-Auto network discovery and layout

-Discovers any type or brand of device

-Device, Link monitoring, and notifications

-Allows you to draw your own maps and add custom devices

-Direct access to remote control tools for device management


The Dude monitoring tool

Teamviewer

The teamviewer software is to monitor systems and servers at the datacentre from the NOC
(network operations centre) and vice-versa. The teamviewer is an excellent screen-sharing and
file-transfer app that can be used to access a second computer remotely. When you log in, you're
given an access code and a password. Sharing those allows your computer to be controlled by the
level you set it to: remote supports, presentation, file transfer, or VPN.
Screenshot of teamviewer screen-sharing application

SYSTEM MAINTENANCE

While at NGCom I carried out system maintenance on computer systems in the network
operations centre and the whole office. The system maintenance I carried out was mostly
software based and has to do with the modification of the computer to correct faults, to improve
performance, or to adapt the system to newly installed programs or changed requirements. The
following are some of the maintenance I carried out on systems.

-System Backup.
-Downloading and installing system drivers.
-Formatting and Installation of Operating systems.
-Repairing Boot Errors

WIRELESS ROUTER CONFIGURATION

Most of the routers I configured were Linksys 2.4GHz 54Mbps wireless routers. Configuring a
wireless router requires a laptop computer and a 100Mbps Ethernet cable. After powering the
router, connect the computer to any one of the LAN Port in the router and Check if you are
getting a light in the port to which it is connected.

Steps to configure a Linksys router: Open a web browser and in the address bar type
http://192.168.1.1 (for Linksys routers) and then hit enter. It will prompt for a username and tab
you will have "Basic Wireless Settings”, “Wireless Security password. Click on "Wireless Tab",

Basic settings Tab

Basic wireless router includes the following:


Wireless Network Mode: There are four options that you can select namely Disabled, B-Only,
G-Only, Mixed. The best and the default option are "Mixed".

Wireless Network Name (SSID): This can be anything of your choice (eg:kkhome,Elohonet
etc.). Whenever you search for any wireless signal in your laptop or computer you will see this
name.
Wireless Channel: There are 11 different channels that you can choose. Out of 11 there are
three better channels that you can use 1, 6 and 11.
Wireless SSID Broadcast: There are two options available they are enable and disabled. For
basic wireless router configuration it is recommended to be in enable. The default option is also
enabled. Click "Save Settings" to save the changes.

Wireless Security: This feature allows you to enable security for your wireless signal. If WEP is
selected then you will be prompted to type a passphrase and save.
WEP key configuration on Linksys router

ASSISTANCE DURING VSAT INSTALLATIONS

During my six months attachment at NGCom I was involved in a number of VSAT installations
and maintenance. I was of assistance to the company network engineers during the site surveys
and installations. The site survey has to with the following:

-Absence of high-rise buildings, trees etc., which may block the signal path.
-Absence of interference by using a gun and a field meter.
-Existence of AC power during installation.
-Existence of a clear, unobstructed line of sight to the designated satellite
-Acquisition of the longitude and latitude using GPS.
-Existence of a LAN network near the IDU.
-Estimation of the maximum cable length.
-Free access to the roof of the building.
The main VSAT installation process involves the following:
– ODU (Outdoor Unit) assembly and installation
– Antenna alignment
– IFL (Interfacility Link) cable connections.
– Polarization adjustment.
– IDU (Indoor Unit) or Modem configuration provided by the hub operator.

VSAT installation

Chapter Two: Experience gained (new)

During my six months industrial attachment, there were certain circumstances that exposed me
as an individual to various networking and hardware terminologies that added a substantial
amount of information needed in self-development. I also worked with worked with some
networking hardware through which I gained a great deal of networking experience.

The following are networking hardware with which I gained new experience:

1. Routers
2. Wireless Access points.
3. Switches
4. CPEs ( Customer Premises Equipment)
5. CAT5 cables
6. Modems
7. Omni antennas
8. Sector antennas.
9. Wavion Microwave Radios
10. VPN devices.

ROUTERS

A router forwards data packets along networks. A router is connected to at least two networks,
commonly two LANs or WANs or a LAN and its ISP’s network. Routers are located at
gateways, the places where two or more networks connect. Multiple routers were used in large
networks where many PCs are involved.

Conceptually, a router operates in two operational planes (or sub-systems)

• Control plane: where a router builds a table (called routing table) as how a packet should
be forwarded through which interface, by using either statically configured statements
(called static routes) or by exchanging information with other routers in the network
through a dynamical routing protocol;

• Forwarding plane: where the router actually forwards traffic (called packets in IP) from
ingress (incoming) interfaces to an egress (outgoing) interface that is appropriate for the
destination address that the packet carries with it, by following rules derived from the
routing table that has been built in the control plane.

Some of the major router models I installed while at NGCom include Linksys, D-Link,
Belkin, Cisco Systems, NetGear.
Linksys by Cisco WRT54GSoho Router

WIRELESS ACCESS POINTS

Access Point is a hardware device communication hub for users of a wireless device to connect
to a wired LAN. APs are important for providing heightened wireless security and for extending
the physical range of service a wireless user has access to. An access point allows wired
communication devices to connect to a wireless network using Wi-Fi, or related standards. The
WAP usually connects to a router, and can relay data between the wireless devices (such as
computers or printers) and wired devices on the network. I used access points during internet
installations where clients had laptops or other wireless devices.

While at NGCom I configured access point for installations which include:

- Typical corporate use involves attaching several WAPs to a wired network and then
providing wireless access to the office LAN.

- Hot Spot setups where wireless clients can connect to the Internet without regard for the
particular networks to which they have attached for the moment.
A Wireless AP in an Office Building

SWITCHES
Network switches are used in the offices, datacenter, NOC, repeater stations and during
installations when clients use many 10/100Mbps LAN devices. A network switch is a device that
forwards and filters packets between ports (connected cables) based on the MAC addresses in the
packets. There are 8-ports, 16 ports, and 24 ports switches depending on the number of systems
that to be connected. A switch is distinct from a hub in that it only forwards the frames to the
ports involved in the communication rather than all ports connected. There are different types of
switches which include:

1. 10/ 100Mbps Switches

2. Gigabit Ethernet Switches


10/100Mbps Switches

CPEs (Customer Premises Equipment)


Customer-premises equipment(CPE) is equipment located at a subscriber's premises and
connected with a ISP's telecommunication channel(s).The CPE installed at the client’s business
or residential location connects to the ISP’s access point to send/receive high speed data wired or
wirelessly. NGCom use a number of CPEs for clients installations which include Ubiquiti
Nanostation5, PowerStation5, SmartBridges airPoint, EnGenius noc3220 etc.

Ubiquiti Nanostation5 CPE Ubiquiti Powerstation5 CPE


SmartBridges airPoint CPE

CAT5 CABLES

CAT5 cables are used to connect systems on a network to the switch.Category 5 cable is a
twisted pair high signal integrity cable. Most Category-5 cables are unshielded, relying on the
twisted pair design for noise rejection. This type of cable is used in structured cabling for
computer networks such as Ethernet. It is most commonly used for 100 Mbit/s networks,
although Gigabit Ethernet is possible over category 5 cable. 10BASE-T (IEEE) and 100BASE-
TX (IEEE) Ethernet connections require two cable pairs. The maximum length for a cable
segment is 50 meters. If longer runs are required, the use of active hardware such as a repeater,
or a switch, is necessary. Nearly always, 8P8C modular connectors, often incorrectly referred to
as "RJ-45", are used for connecting category 5 cable.

RJ-45 Connector
The cat5 cables are terminated and configured at both ends using a crimping tool (a piece of
hardware used together with the connectors to hold the wire firmly). There are 2 types of cat5
cable configurations.

Cross Cable W

Straight Cable

MODEMS

A modem (modulator-demodulator) is a device that modulates an analog carrier signal to encode


digital information, and also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted
information. The goal is to produce a signal that can be transmitted easily and decoded to
reproduce the original digital data. While at NGCom I had the opportunity to work with modems
that come in a variety of types, bandwidths, and speeds. They transmit information that is
modulated onto a carrier frequency to allow many simultaneous wireless communication links to
work simultaneously on different frequencies. The SkyEdge II modem from Gilat is used by
NGCom to provide VSAT. It has inbound rates of up to 2Mbps.
SkyEdge II modem from Gilat used by NGCom for VSAT installations

OMNI

An omnidirectional antenna is an antenna system which radiates power uniformly in one plane
with a directive pattern shape in a perpendicular plane. Omnidirectional antennas are used to
transmit over long distances. Omnidirectional antennas are generally realized using collinear
dipole arrays. NGCom uses 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz omnidirectional antennas for point-to-
multipoint connections on repeater stations to transmit.

An omnidirectional antenna connected to an access point to increase coverage

An omnidirectional antenna connected to a Mikrotik router board transmitter

WAVION MICROWAVE RADIO

The microwave radio uses a beam of radio waves in the microwave frequency range to transmit
video, audio, or data between two locations, which can be from just a few feet or meters to
several miles or kilometers apart. The Wavion WBS-2400 base station is an advanced wireless
broadband base station, which operates in the 2.4 GHz unlicensed band. It has 6 antennas and 6
radios installed on the unit. The WBS-2400 provides superior connectivity, extended range and
increased capacity. These characteristics enable NGCom to deliver high quality internet service
to clients at a much lower cost. During my stay at NGCom I was opportuned to learn about and
assemble these radios.
Wavion WBS-2400 microwave radio

Typical application of WBS-2400 2.4GHz microwave radio

VPN (Virtual private network)


A VPN is a hardware or software device that companies use to create a secure connection
between different office locations using the internet as the medium. Virtual private networks are
constructed by using public wires to connect nodes. These systems use encryption and other
security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users can access the network and that the
data cannot be intercepted. NGCom uses a VPN to create a secure connection between the
company datacenters to allow network engineers in different datacenters to work on the network
remotely.
A VPN device in NGCom’s Datacenter

A VPN network connection

Chapter Three: Challenges Encountered