Rapid Fading Due to Human Blockage in Pedestrian Crowds at 5G Millimeter-Wave Frequencies

George R. Maccartney, Theodore S. Rappaport, Sundeep Rangan

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


Rapidly fading channels caused by pedestrians in dense urban environments will have a significant impact on millimeter-wave (mmWave) communications systems that employ electrically-steerable and narrow beamwidth antenna arrays. A peer- to-peer (P2P) measurement campaign was conducted with 7°, 15°, and 60° half- power beamwidth (HPBW) antenna pairs at 73.5 GHz and with 1 GHz of RF null-to-null bandwidth in a heavily populated open square scenario in Brooklyn, New York, to study blockage events caused by typical pedestrian traffic. Antenna beamwidths that range approximately an order of magnitude were selected to gain knowledge of fading events for antennas with different beamwidths since antenna patterns for mmWave systems will be electronically-adjustable. Two simple modeling approaches in the literature are introduced to characterize the blockage events by either a two-state Markov model or a four-state piecewise linear modeling approach. Transition probability rates are determined from the measurements and it is shown that average fade durations with a -5 dB threshold are 299.0 ms for 7° HPBW antennas and 260.2 ms for 60° HPBW antennas. The four-state piecewise linear modeling approach shows that signal strength decay and rise times are asymmetric for blockage events and that mean signal attenuations (average fade depths) are inversely proportional to antenna HPBW, where 7° and 60° HPBW antennas resulted in mean signal fades of 15.8 dB and 11.5 dB, respectively. The models presented herein are valuable for extending statistical channel models at mmWave to accurately simulate real- world pedestrian blockage events when designing fifth-generation (5G) wireless systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2017 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781509050192
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Event2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2017 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: Dec 4 2017Dec 8 2017

Publication series

Name2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2017 - Proceedings


Other2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2017


  • 5G
  • 73 GHz
  • Millimeter-wave
  • blockage
  • channel sounder
  • crowds
  • direct-correlation
  • dynamic
  • fading
  • mmWave
  • pedestrians
  • real-time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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