SAN FRANCISCO—In an effort to speed 5G development, NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s wireless research center will provide its
channel models and measurements for cellular propagation in the millimeter wave (mmW) band as free, open-source software. The simulation will help product developers understand the behavior and capabilities of the mmW radio spectrum.
The free download includes statistical channel model and simulation code for generating channel impulse responses, calculating time delays, locating angles of arrival of energy in urban channels, and determining received power levels. The data focuses on the space between 2 GHz and 73 GHz, using measurements taken over the course of four years in New York City and Austin, Texas.
“Generally, individual companies or universities work on things in the dark. They publish things but never give the real intricate details of how to recreate it,” said NYU Wireless Director Theodore Rappaport. “We’re making all of our measurements and simulation code based on those measurements open, so anyone in the world could short circuit the many years it would take to wait for products or…make the measurements on their own.”
Click here for larger image The statistical spatial channel models are based on experiments from 2 GHz to 73 GHz, monitored between 2011 and 2014 in New York City and Austin, Texas.
Source: NYU Wireless
The mmW spectrum shows particular promise because of its directional capabilities, which could vastly improve radio links when the radio energy of multiple antennas is combined, and wider bandwidth. Rappaport said mmW data rates in non-line of sight urban environments could reach several gigabits per second, compared to today’s 50 mbits/second over 4G cellular.
NYU Wireless researchers also found that mmW bandwidth is wide enough to potentially provide fiber optic-quality backhaul. Additionally, mmW basestations and access points can be extremely low power – achieving 200-500 meter range on 1 Watt of power, depending on the use of simple directional antennas or phased array antennas that combine several beams.
Although work on mmW has been underway for some time, a lack of standardization or federal guidance for spectrum allocation has slowed its rollout for 5G. Current Analysis analyst Peter Jarich said open source or otherwise collaborative efforts were some of the most innovative things he saw at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
“The use of millimeter wave spectrum is important, but so is the use of open source to get more of the data out there and let people leverage it,” Jarich told EE Times. “My expectation is that every vendor has channel models of their own, but obviously it may not be to the same extent or same unbiased open nature that a university would.”
In order for NYU Wireless’ software to be successful, it must be easy to use and integrate in to existing systems while presenting data in an easy-to-understand way. Rappaport hopes that the software will help universities and companies develop several crucial pieces of technology.
“I believe the development of low cost, high efficiency hybrid phased array antennas are a crucial element, using digital signal processing and analog radio frequencies,” Rappaport said, pointing to SiBeam and Samsung as early developers of this technology.
Several companies are already using the open-source software, including French telecom operator Orange.
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