Propagation Models and Performance Evaluation for 5G Millimeter-Wave Bands

Shu Sun, Theodore S. Rappaport, Mansoor Shafi, Pan Tang, Jianhua Zhang, Peter J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks are expected to operate at both microwave and millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequency bands, including frequencies in the range of 24 to 86 GHz. Radio propagation models are used to help engineers design, deploy, and compare candidate wireless technologies, and have a profound impact on the decisions of almost every aspect of wireless communications. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the channel models that will likely be used in the design of 5G radio systems. We start with a discussion on the framework of channel models, which consists of classical models of path loss versus distance, large-scale, and small-scale fading models, and multiple-input multiple-output channel models. Then, key differences between mmWave and microwave channel models are presented, and two popular mmWave channel models are discussed: the 3rd Generation Partnership Project model, which is adopted by the International Telecommunication Union, and the NYUSIM model, which was developed from several years of field measurements in New York City. Examples on how to apply the channel models are then given for several diverse applications demonstrating the wide impact of the models and their parameter values, where the performance comparisons of the channel models are done with promising hybrid beamforming approaches, including leveraging coordinated multipoint transmission. These results show that the answers to channel performance metrics, such as spectrum efficiency, coverage, hardware/signal processing requirements, etc., are extremely sensitive to the choice of channel models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8386686
Pages (from-to)8422-8439
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Beamforming
  • channel models
  • coordinated multipoint (CoMP)
  • fifth generation (5G)
  • hybrid beamforming
  • millimeter wave (mmWave)
  • multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Automotive Engineering


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