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Modelling radio propagation for 5G development

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One of the big challenges with 5G radio design is the behaviour of signals at higher millimetre wave frequencies (and their accompanying shorter wavelengths). Whilst this might not appear so important in the initial deployments of 5G networks, which will use frequencies similar to those in use by LTE and 3G networks, it will become a critical factor when the 6GHz+ frequencies become available for use later in the next decade.

But even the earliest 5G deployments will have to cover a large spectral range, and any new air interface (and you can be sure that there will be at least one) will have to be fit for purpose. Hence the need to model use cases and deployments in advance, to create simulations that can be used in 5G technology testing. You can watch more about this subject in our video feature from the University of Surrey’s 5GIC, as well as this interview with Rohde & Schwarz.

Last week, test specialists Anite announced that the task group it leads within the European Commission’s METIS project has finalised the world’s first 5G radio channel models. Anite says this is the first radio channel model proposal to be delivered by an international project consisting of key industry players and universities, and will help to accelerate the development of 5G radio access technologies.

“We are delighted to have reached this important milestone,” said Paul Beaver, Products Director at Anite’s Device and Infrastructure Testing business, “delivering significant technical expertise to help speed up next generation wireless technology development.” He added that Anite’s Propsim radio Channel Emulator, along with these industry-first 5G radio channel models, will enable developers to characterise the performance of early 5G designs.

Radio channel models will help researchers and developers through system performance evaluation, system optimisation, radio interface simulation and prototyping, R&D testing and final product approval. The METIS proposal consists of three different models: a map-based model, a stochastic model and a hybrid model – all addressing a very wide frequency spectrum, from relatively low frequencies in the current cellular frequency bands to centimetre and millimetre wave frequencies. The intention is that this provides a flexible and scalable channel modelling framework.

5G Week on TelecomTV continues today, with exclusive interviews with key mobile operators.

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