3.5 GHz Indoor Propagation Modeling and Channel Characterization

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Virginia Tech


In the push for spectrum sharing and open spectrum access, the 3.5 GHz frequency band is under consideration for small cells and general Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN) in the United States. The same band is beginning to see deployment in China, Japan, and South Korea, for the 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) cellular standard to increase coverage and capacity in urban areas through small cell deployment. However, since the adoption of this band is new, there is a distinct shortage of propagation data and accurate channel modeling at 3.5 GHz in indoor environments. These models are necessary for cellular coverage planning and evaluating the performance and feasibility of wireless systems.

This report presents the results of a fixed wireless channel measurement campaign at 3.5 GHz. Measurements were taken in environments typical of indoor wireless deployment: traditional urban indoor office, hallway, classroom, computer laboratory, and atrium areas, as well as within a hospital. Primarily Non Line of Sight (NLOS) experiments were carried out in areas with a controllable amount of partitions separating the transmitter and receiver in order to document material-based attenuation values. Indoor-to-outdoor measurements were carried out, focusing on attenuation due to common exterior building materials such as concrete, brick, wood, and reinforced glass.

Documented metrics include large scale path loss, log-normal shadowing, and channel power delay profiles combined with delay spread characteristics for multipath analysis. The statistical multi-antenna diversity gain was evaluated to gauge the benefit of using multi-antenna systems in an indoor environment, which has much greater spatial diversity than an outdoor environment. Measurements were compared to indoor path loss models used for WLAN planning in the low GHz range to investigate the applicability of extending these models to 3.5 GHz.



3.5 GHz, path loss, indoor propagation, channel model, MIMO, spectrum sharing