Effects of Mobility on mmWave Massive MIMO Beamforming in Dynamic, Urban Environments

Wireless service providers have begun taking advantage of the expanse of spectrum available in the mmWave band thanks to a growing demand for remarkably higher data rates and an endlessly increasing number of connected users. However, mmWave propagation does not come without its challenges. For example, increased free-space path loss is a concern, as is a greater attenuation for diffracted beams in comparison to sub-7 GHz bands.

mmWave massive MIMO beamforming is a technology that can help solve some of these problems. But to do so effectively, it must be able to adapt to dynamic channels as devices move and signals interact with vehicles and people moving throughout a space.

This paper explores the effectiveness of massive MIMO beamforming at mitigating the challenges expected from using the expanse of spectrum available in the mmWave band. Specifically, it explores a use case involving our Wireless InSite EM propagation software and its mmWave hybrid beamformer capabilities to transmit data streams to a sedan driving in central Manhattan.

The discussion focuses on how the wide bandwidths afforded by mmWaves compel the use of adaptive beam steering methods with deteriorated performance in a mobile environment due to latency. The impact of latency alone can be significant, while the other effects of mobility have not been included in this discussion and would degrade performance further.

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