Multi-Sector and Multi-Panel Performance in 5G mmWave Cellular Networks

08/14/2018
by   Mattia Rebato, et al.
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The next generation of cellular networks (5G) will exploit the mmWave spectrum to increase the available capacity. Communication at such high frequencies, however, suffers from high path loss and blockage, therefore directional transmissions using antenna arrays and dense deployments are needed. Thus, when evaluating the performance of mmWave mobile networks, it is necessary to accurately model the complex channel, the directionality of the transmission, but also the interplay that these elements can have with the whole protocol stack, both in the radio access and in the higher layers. In this paper, we improve the channel model abstraction of the mmWave module for ns-3, by introducing the support of a more realistic antenna array model, compliant with 3GPP NR requirements, and of multiple antenna arrays at the base stations and mobile handsets. We then study the end-to-end performance of a mmWave cellular network by varying the channel and antenna array configurations, and show that increasing the number of antenna arrays and, consequently, the number of sectors is beneficial for both throughput and latency.

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