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3GPP 5G channel model standard: opens a new era of mobile industry in high frequency bands

At the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) RAN Meeting held in Bushan Korea from June 13 to 16, 2016, the first standard for the mobile broadband 5G high-frequency (6-100 GHz) channel model was approved. Huawei participated in 70+% technical topics and contributed innovative solutions to these topics. All the efforts are fundamental contributions to the 3GPP standard on 5G high-frequency channel model.
High-frequency technology is an important part of 5G to an ultra-high speed connection at a data rate of 10 Gbps or even 20 Gbps to the mobile terminal. However, few research efforts had been made in the study of the radio propagation model for mobile network using high-frequency bands from 6 GHz to 100 GHz. As early as in 2009, Huawei set up its research into 5G since its deployment of the world’s first commercial LTE network, and has continuously made long-term investments in the theoretical and measurement research on high-frequency (6-100 GHz) channel for mainstream application scenarios.
Huawei had launched extensive high-frequency channel measurement campaigns over the past years which cover typical frequency bands including 8 GHz, 15 GHz, 28 GHz, 60 GHz, and 73 GHz, and large amount of channel measurement data that are collected and analyzed over the typical deployment scenarios including indoor offices, shopping malls, and downtown areas etc. Huawei has made innovations in channel modeling techniques in aspects of multiple key technologies including multi-zone path loss model, antenna decoupling, LOS probability model, spatial consistency model, frequency-dependent channel model, outdoor-to-indoor model, channel parameterization of indoor and outdoor models, and link models. All these techniques have been approved and accepted by the 3GPP.
In addition to high frequency channel model study, Huawei 5G research has made effort in system design and evaluation, high-frequency network, architecture design, and high-frequency prototype. Early in 2013, Huawei announced the release of its high-frequency prototype based on E-band (73GHz), which reached a peak data rate of 115 Gbps. During the Mobile World Congress in February 2016, Huawei and Deutsche Telekom jointly launched a high-frequency prototype and testbed that realized multi-user beam-tracking function with a peak data rate of 70 Gbps in the mixed line-of-sight and non-line-of sight environment. The prototype further verified the feasibility of applying high frequency bands to mobile communications.
Huawei collaborated with industrial partners to promote high-frequency research. In conferences of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Huawei has organized multiple seminars to share the research results of high-frequency channel model, air interface design, and field trials etc. Moreover, Huawei has established technical cooperation on high-frequency communications with over 10 universities and institutions around the world, and has published 51 academic papers in the IEEE journals and conferences. In 2016, Huawei co-authored with 15 industrial partners and academic institutions and released white papers entitled “5G Channel Model for Bands Up To 100 GHz”, which have become important baseline references for 5G high-frequency channel modeling.
The agreement of 3GPP 5G high-frequency channel model standard is an important milestone of the application of above-6GHz bands to 5G, which opens a new landscape for the standardization of 5G high-frequency technologies.  5G will provide a fiber-speed user experience in the applications of future ultra-broadband wireless access, ultra-high traffic hotspots, and virtual realization. With sufficient spectrum resources in above-6GHz frequency bands, 5G can laid a solid foundation for providing superior mobile connectivity and realize the Internet of Things (IoT) as well.
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