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PhD project title:  UNlocking thE PoTential of THz Communications for FUture CoNnected SociEties (NEPTUNE)

Outline description, including interdisciplinary, intersectoral and international dimensions 
Spectrum scarcity has been the main bottleneck of wireless systems for the past decades. Hence, all key spectrum operators around the world (including Ofcom and the US FCC), are strongly pushing towards higher frequency bands to deal with this spectrum gridlock. In view of the enormous bandwidth available at THz (0.3 to 3 THz) frequencies, communication over the THz band is envisioned as the most promising technology for ubiquitous, low-latency connectivity in the new decade. Unfortunately, all existing wireless networks are designed for operating at microwave bands (1-30GHz) and their up-scaling to the THz spectrum is a very challenging exercise, due to the unique characteristics of THz-based communication. For example, performance parameters, such as the noise figure, output power and power efficiency degrade significantly for high operating frequencies, thereby compromising the system performance.
NEPTUNE will address these fundamental issues by developing novel theoretical and practical solutions with outstanding commercial potential. NEPTUNE is interdisciplinary as it will innovate across information theory, machine learning and practical transceiver design by harnessing our expertise in wireless communications and information theory and that of our industrial partner, Dr Jakob Hoydis at Nokia Bell Labs, France, in machine learning and multidimensional signal processing. It is intersectoral as the developed solutions will influence not only the telecom sector, which has started looking into the development of 6G, but also a plethora of financial/societal sectors, such as retail, healthcare, automation and manufacturing. Finally, NEPTUNE is international as it will be executed in collaboration with one of the biggest ICT leaders. This collaboration will provide an invaluable opportunity to the PhD candidate for visiting one of the strongest
communications and AI hubs in Europe and collaborate with a group of prolific researchers. This will help our ESR to pump prime their best ideas and accelerate their PhD progress.

Key words/descriptors
Wireless communications; 6G networks; THz communications; information theory; advanced signal processing

Fit to CITI-GENS theme(s)
• Information Technology,
• Advanced Manufacturing,
• Life Sciences
• Creative Industries.

Supervisor Information
First Supervisor: Dr Michalis Matthaiou School: ECIT Institute, Centre for Wireless Innovation
Second Supervisor: Dr Hien Quoc Ngo School: ECIT Institute, Centre for Wireless Innovation
Third Supervisor: Dr Jakob Hoydis Company: Nokia Bell Labs, France

Name of non-HEI partner(s)
Nokia Bell Labs, France

Contribution of non-HEI partner(s) to the project:
Each project requires that Fellows have a placement opportunity to develop their research projects at the premises of a non-HEI partner. Please describe the profile of the non-HEI partner and the nature of the relationship.
Nokia Bell Labs is a world-leading ICT industry. In 2018, Nokia employed approximately 103,000 people across over 100 countries, did business in more than 130 countries, and reported annual revenues of around €23billion. Nokia’s customers include service providers whose combined networks support 6.1 billion subscriptions, as well as enterprises in the private and public sector that use our network portfolio to increase productivity and enrich lives. Bell Labs is internationally renowned for its profound influence on the evolution of telecommunications and information technologies, not least the way people now connect, collaborate, compute and communicate. This has been recognised over the years by the receipt of nine Nobel Prizes, three Turing medals and twelve US National Medals of Science, as well as many other awards. Bell Labs has made many major contributions to the field of wireless communications. These include the development of information theory, Hamming codes, orthogonal-frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) and multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems. As such, Nokia Bell Labs is perfectly placed to contribute to this ambitious project.
Dr Jakob Hoydis, Head of the Radio Systems Research & Artificial Intelligence at Nokia Bell Labs in Paris has agreed to act as a co-supervisor and host the PhD candidate for 3 months in total and contribute actively to the supervisory team through bi-weekly meetings. His team at Nokia Bell Labs will also provide feedback to the team members at Queens’ and help them maintain relevance with the industrial roadmaps. Dr Jakob Hoydis is a world-class authority in wireless communications.
His research interests are in the areas of machine learning, cloud computing, large random matrix theory, information theory, signal processing, and their applications to wireless communications. This expertise aligns squarely with the project objectives and makes him the ideal person in European industry to co-supervise this PhD fellow.

Research centre / School: Centre for Wireless Innovation, ECIT Institute

Subject area: Wireless communications