A framework for end-to-end evaluation of 5G mmWave cellular networks in ns-3

Russell Ford, Menglei Zhang, Sourjya Dutta, Marco Mezzavilla, Sundeep Rangan, Michele Zorzi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The growing demand for ubiquitous mobile data services along with the scarcity of spectrum in the sub-6 GHz bands has given rise to the recent interest in developing wireless systems that can exploit the large amount of spectrum available in the millimeter wave (mmWave) frequency range. Due to its potential for multi-gigabit and ultra-low latency links, mmWave technology is expected to play a central role in 5th Generation (5G) cellular networks. Overcoming the poor radio propagation and sensitivity to blockages at higher frequencies presents major challenges, which is why much of the current research is focused at the physical layer. However, innovations will be required at all layers of the protocol stack to effectively utilize the large air link capacity and provide the end-to-end performance required by future networks. Discrete-event network simulation will be an invaluable tool for researchers to evaluate novel 5G protocols and systems from an end-to-end perspective. In this work, we present the first-of-its-kind, open-source framework for modeling mmWave cellular networks in the ns-3 simulator. Channel models are provided along with a configurable physical and MAC-layer implementation, which can be interfaced with the higher-layer protocols and core network model from the ns-3 LTE module to simulate end-to-end connectivity. The framework is demonstrated through several example simulations showing the performance of our custom mmWave stack.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWNS3 2016 - Workshop on ns-3
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450342162
StatePublished - Jun 15 2016
Event8th Workshop on Network Simulator (ns-3), WNS3 2016 - Seattle, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2016Jun 16 2016

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series
VolumePart F132163


Other8th Workshop on Network Simulator (ns-3), WNS3 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • 5G
  • Cellular
  • Channel
  • MAC.
  • MmWave
  • PHY
  • Propagation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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