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Autonomous AI-driven cell-free 5G network architecture for highly dynamic and ultra-dense connectivity


Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Applications accepted all year round Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

About the Project

The purpose of this research is to develop a mobile network that does not have fixed cellular boundaries. In conventional cellular networks, each user equipment (UE) is connected to the access point (AP) in only one of the many cells (except during handover). At a given time instance, the APs have different numbers of active UEs, causing inter-cell interference. Cellular networks are suboptimal from a channel capacity viewpoint because higher spectral efficiency (SE) (bit/s/Hz/user) can potentially be achieved by co-processing each signal at multiple APs.  

In cell-free networks, there are many more geographically distributed APs that can use artificial intelligent techniques to self-organise themselves into Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) groups to jointly serve a relatively smaller number of UEs. Cell-free Massive MIMO can potentially provide ten-fold improvements in Spectral Efficiency for the UEs over a corresponding cellular network with small cells.

The cabling and internal communication between APs is also a challenging issue in practical cell-free Massive MIMO deployments. A cost-efficient architecture is one that self-organise APs as both access points as well as nodes in a front haul network that reduces the requirement for cabling between Aps.

The majority of the project will be carried out using MATLAB, crafting different sections of code to explore different algorithmic options and the Python to incorporate solution on 5G Multiaccess Edge Computing cloud.

Research journey

Doctoral research programmes (PhDs) take a proud place in the world-class research environment and community at Brunel. PhD students are recognised and valued by their supervisors as an essential part of their departments and a key component of the university's overall strategy to develop and deliver world-class research.

A PhD programme is expected to take 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time, with intakes starting in January, April or October.

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (1st or 2:1) or an international equivalent. A Masters degree is a welcome, but not required, qualification for entry.

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Brunel

Research support

Excellent research support and training

The Graduate School provides a range of personal, professional and career development opportunities. This includes workshops, online training, coaching and events, to enable you to enhance your professional profile, refine your skills, and plan your next career steps as part of the Researcher Development Programme. The researcher development programme (RDP) offers workshops and seminars in a range of areas including progression, research management, research dissemination, and careers and personal development. You will also be offered a number of online, self-study courses on BBL, including Research Integrity, Research Skills Toolkit, Research Methods in Literature Review and Principles of Research Methods.

Library services

Brunel's Library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 ebooks, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs. As well as the physical resources available in the Library, we also provide access to a wealth of electronic resources. These include databases, journals and e-books. Access to these resources has been bought by the Library through subscription and is limited to current staff and students. 

Dedicated research support staff provide guidance and training on open access, research data management, copyright and other research integrity issues.

Find out more: Brunel Library

Careers support

You will receive tailored careers support during your PhD and for up to three years after you complete your research at Brunel. We encourage you to actively engage in career planning and managing your personal development right from the start of your research, even (or perhaps especially) if you don't yet have a career path in mind. Our careers provision includes online information and advice, one-to-one consultations and a range of events and workshops. The Professional Development Centre runs a varied programme of careers events throughout the academic year. These include industry insight sessions, recruitment fairs, employer pop-ups and skills workshops.


Funding Notes

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: View Website. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

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