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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


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)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings - IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM
StatePublished - 2017
Event2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2017 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: Dec 4 2017Dec 8 2017


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Signal Processing


Dive into the research topics of 'Rapid Fading Due to Human Blockage in Pedestrian Crowds at 5G Millimeter-Wave Frequencies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this