Towards Competitive, Privacy-Preserving and Efficient Cellular Infrastructure

Date: 2023/08/21 - 2023/08/21

Academic Seminar: Towards Competitive, Privacy-Preserving and Efficient Cellular Infrastructure

Speaker: Zhihong Luo, University of California, Berkeley

Time: 2:00 p.m., August 21, 2023 (Beijing Time)

Location: Room 403, JI Long Bin Building


Cellular networks play an increasingly important role in the Internet ecosystem: they serve over 5B subscribers, source over 50% of web traffic, and are expected to see dramatic growth due to new applications enabled by 5G, IoT, and edge computing. However, despite their vital role in the last mile infrastructure, today's cellular networks suffer from some major drawbacks, including but not limited to: (i) lack of competition -- the cellular ecosystem is dominated by a small number of providers; (ii) privacy invasion -- cellular operators know both the identity and location of their mobile subscribers and hence can easily profile users based on this information; and (iii) inefficient capacity scaling -- relying on network densification to meet the exponentially growing user demand is increasingly ineffective. Our group has been working on redesigning the cellular architecture to overcome some of these issues, and in this talk, I will present two pieces of work that arise from our research: CellBricks [SIGCOMM’21], a novel cellular architecture that lowers the barrier to entry for new operators by enabling users to consume access on-demand from any available cellular operator — small or large, trusted or untrusted; and LOCA [NSDI’23], a novel cellular design that, for the first time, preserves user location privacy without compromising on the network's ability to provide services based on a user's identity (e.g., post-pay, QoS and service classes, lawful intercept, emergency services, forensics).


Zhihong Luo is a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, advised by Prof. Scott Shenker and Prof. Sylvia Ratnasamy. He is primarily interested in networked and operating systems. His research spans cellular architecture [SIGCOMM’21, NSDI’23], datacenter systems [HotNets’20, EuroSys’20, HotOS’23] and mobile systems [MobiCom’17, SIGCOMM’18, NSDI’19]. Prior to coming to Berkeley, he received his Masters degree from MIT, and Bachelors degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.