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Prométhée Spathis
Head of the CNI program at SU

courriel :



Cellular Networks


Person Responsible for Module (Name, Mail address):

Thi-Mai-Trang N'GUYEN

Credit Points (ECTS): 6 Module-ID: MU5IN050
University: Sorbonne Université Department: Master Informatique

Prerequisites for Participation

Students with basic knowledge on network architecture and protocols, TCP/IP networking and wireless communications.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students who have successfully finished this module will master the network architecture and protocols used in different generations of cellular networks. Especially, the students should be able to model the resources in each type of network to solve the problems of network dimensioning and resource allocation. Students will be able to simulate cellular networks using NS-3 for performance measurement and analysis. The students also have opportunities to analyze mobile data collected by mobile operator to get the statistics on traffic demand. Last but not least, students will acquire the necessary background on new concepts in mobile networking such as SDN-NVF and network slicing to propose solutions to the challenges of future cellular networks.


This course teaches the principles of cellular networks and is structured in five parts. The first part of the course presents the cellular concept and the evolution of mobile networks from 2G Global System of Mobile communications (GSM) to 5G New Radio (NR). The second part of the course explains Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) and circuit switching in GSM networks. The third part of the course describes the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and the evolution towards packet switching in Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS). The fourth part of the course covers the concepts of Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) and resource block in Long Term Evolution (LTE) as well as the architecture and protocols used in Evolved Packet Core (EPC). The fifth part of the course explains the new features of 5G networks including NR, Software-Defined Networking - Network Function Virtualization (SDN-NFV) based core network, the concept of network slicing and new applications expected in 5G such as Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X).

Teaching and Learning Methods

  • 2h weekly hours lecture
  • 2h weekly hours integrated interactive tutorials (problem solving, assignments discussion, lab sessions)

Assessment and Grading Procedures

Mid-term written exam (40%), and Final written exam (60%)

Workload calculation (contact hours, homework, exam preparation,..)

  • 4h weekly contact hours x 14 weeks = 56 h
  • 5h weekly hours preparation and afterwork x 14 weeks = 70 h
  • Exams preparation: 24h
  • Total: 150 h

Frequency and dates

Offered every Fall semester:

  • Classes start mid-September and end end-January;
  • Mid-semester exam around beginning of November;
  • Final exam at the beginning of February;
  • Makeup exam for those who failed the first session in next September.

Max. Number of Participants


Enrolment Procedures

Request to the head of CNI program

Recommended Reading, Course Material

  • Theodore S. Rappaport, “Wireless Communications: Principles and Practice”, 2nd edition, Prentice Hall, 2002
  • Jörg Eberspächer, Hans-Jörg Vögel and Christian Bettstetter, “GSM Switching, Services and Protocols”, 2nd edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2001
  • Heikki Kaaranen, Ari Ahtiainen, Lauri Laitinen, Siamäk Naghian and Valtteri Niemi, “UMTS Networks: Architecture, Mobility and Services”, 2nd edition, Wiley, 2005
  • Arunabha Ghosh, Jun Zhang, Jeffrey G. Andrews and Rias Muhamed, “Fundamentals of LTE, Prentice Hall”, 2010
  • Erik Dahlman, Stefan Parkvall and Johan Skold, “5G NR: The Next Generation Wireless Access Technology”, Academic Press, 2018
  • NS3 Network Simulator,