Small-Scale, Local Area, and Transitional Millimeter Wave Propagation for 5G Communications

Theodore S. Rappaport, George R. MacCartney, Shu Sun, Hangsong Yan, Sijia Deng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper studies radio propagation mechanisms that impact handoffs, air interface design, beam steering, and multiple-input multiple-output for 5G mobile communication systems. Knife-edge diffraction (KED) and a creeping wave linear model are shown to predict diffraction loss around typical building objects from 10 to 26 GHz, and human blockage measurements at 73 GHz are shown to fit a double KED model, which incorporates antenna gains. Small-scale spatial fading of millimeter wave (mmWave)-received signal voltage amplitude is generally Ricean-distributed for both omnidirectional and directional receive antenna patterns under both line-of-sight (LOS) and non-line-of-sight (NLOS) conditions in most cases, although the log-normal distribution fits measured data better for the omnidirectional receive antenna pattern in the NLOS environment. Small-scale spatial autocorrelations of received voltage amplitudes are shown to fit sinusoidal exponential and exponential functions for LOS and NLOS environments, respectively, with small decorrelation distances of 0.27-13.6 cm (smaller than the size of a handset) that are favorable for spatial multiplexing. Local area measurements using cluster and route scenarios show how the received signal changes as the mobile moves and transitions from LOS to NLOS locations, with reasonably stationary signal levels within clusters. Wideband mmWave power levels are shown to fade from 0.4 dB/ms to 40 dB/s, depending on travel speed and surroundings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7999256
Pages (from-to)6474-6490
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Channel transition
  • diffraction
  • human blockage
  • millimeter wave (mmWave)
  • mobile propagation
  • multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO)
  • propagation
  • small-scale fading
  • spatial autocorrelation
  • spatial consistency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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