Open PhD Student Position

PhD position in the Inria Agora team at INSA Lyon on the study of beyond 5G cellular architecture.

  • Subject: Self-deployable mobile cellular networks
  • Dates: 3 years funding, starting date Fall 2024
  • Location: Inria Agora, CITI Lab, INSA Lyon, Campus LyonTech La Doua, 56 Boulevard Niels Bohr, 69603 Villeurbanne, France

We are inviting applications for one PhD student position on cellular network architectures at the CITI laboratory at INSA Lyon, in the context of the national PEPR NAI project. The position is funded for three years, starting from Fall 2023 (precise date at the convenience of the candidate). The successful candidate will join the Agora research team at the Inria premises within the Campus LyonTech La Doua, in Lyon, France. The research activity will be carried out under the supervision of Razvan Stanica and Fabrice Valois.

The candidate will conduct research on the topic of cellular networks. While cellular networks have been evolving from one generation to the other, the deployment process, for both network infrastructure and network functions, remained generally unchanged, requiring lengthy planning and configuration. However, recent advances in virtualization, electronics and robotics, open the door to an important architectural shift in cellular networks, bringing increased flexibility. This self-deployable context brings together several important properties distinguishing it from 4G and 5G technologies:

  • The cellular base stations are mobile, or at least transportable by specific platforms (drones, terrestrial robots, vehicles).
  • The network devices can host radio access, core network and service level functions, removing the separation between cellular network strata.
  • The network devices are inter-connected through a wireless backhaul, with limited capacity.
Brought together, these properties allow the rapid, and possibly autonomous, deployment of a cellular network, including infrastructure and services, bringing supplementary capacity or coverage in areas underserved for different reasons. Most of the classical approaches in cellular networks need to be revisited in a self-deployable approach, which represents the objective of this PhD thesis.

The PhD student will conduct research in the field of cellular networks. This involves designing and evaluating new networking solutions, which could shape the future 6G technology. The PhD student is expected to implement and demonstrate the solutions on real hardware. For this, an experimental platform based on software defined radios is available, as well as a terrestrial robot capable of carrying a mobile base station. The recruited person is expected to write reports in English and give presentations to academic and industrial partners. The PhD student is expected to be active in the national PEPR NAI project, as well as in the national French community on computer networks research.

Requirements for this position include:

  • MS or equivalent in Computer Engineering, Computer Science or related areas
  • Strong background in wireless networking
  • Strong algorithm design and software implementation skills
  • Fluency in written and spoken English (French language skills are not mandadory, but they represent a plus)

For applications, please contact Razvan and Fabrice with the following information:

  • Short cover letter indicating the candidate's research interests, achievements to date and vision for the future
  • CV including a detailed list of projects realised by the candidate
  • Master level grades or equivalent information about the courses valdiated
  • Contact details of 1-2 referees