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Channel Models and Measurements for 5G

Feature Topic


Research in 5G wireless communications technology has attracted worldwide attention in recent years. 5G is expected to include new requirements, applications and scenarios, e.g., high-speed broadband, machine-to-machine, device-to-device, vehicle-to-vehicle and high-speed train communications. To meet the spectrum efficiency and growth targets, 5G will need massive & 3D MIMO, network densification and increased spectrum via the use of millimeter-wave bands and new bands in the microwave spectrum (below 6 GHz).

The characteristics of the radio channel have a wide-ranging impact on wireless communications. This includes, capacity, coverage, spectrum efficiency, hardware and software design of the radio, signal processing requirements, architecture of the base station and handsets etc. The simulation of an accurate and effective channel models is therefore an important step for research in wireless communications.

There are many industry and academic-led channel model characterizations currently underway for mm-wave bands. These are the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), covering 500 MHz to 100 GHz, International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the Mobile and Wireless Communications Enablers for the Twenty-Twenty Information Society (METIS), 5G mmWave Channel Model Alliance, NYU WIRELESS , IEEE 802.11, Millimeter- Wave Evolution for Backhaul & Access (MiWEBA), mmWave based Mobile Radio Access Network for 5G Integrated Communications (mmMAGIC), COST IRACON, and many individually-led efforts. The channel models for the microwave bands are also described in existing standards of 3GPP, ITU, IEEE, and many other organizations. 

The purpose of channel model characterizations is also different. For example, the industry models 3GPP/ITU are mainly to study technology evaluations and standardization, and they do not necessarily lead to the prediction of real world performance, for which more detailed models need to be used, possibly taking specific environment features into account. The differing objectives of the channel models have also led to divergent views on some key properties of the radio channel: for instance, the industry standardized models assume that the cluster numbers of both microwave and mm-wave frequencies are the same’; this is contrary to the observations in many published papers. Furthermore, some large-scale parameters are simple functions of frequency, even though there is no strong experimental evidence for this. It is, therefore, clear that more efforts are needed to understand propagation characteristics especially in mm-wave bands and to demonstrate their impact on system design and deployment.


Prospective authors are welcome to submit original and high-quality papers in any of the topics of this Feature Topic. Potential topics include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Measurement based channel models for 5G covering microwave and mm wave bands; Differences between the channel properties for cm and mm wave and why should we care?
  • Channel models for Massive MIMO systems and 3D MIMO systems
  • Channel models for machine-type communications (MTC) scenarios
  • Channel models for V2X communication systems
  • The impact of channel models on system design, performance and deployment
  • The impact of channel models on system architecture and signal processing requirements at the transmitter and receiver
  • Progress in standardization of channel models

These contributions will enable simulation, evaluation, performance optimization and network deployment of future wireless mobile systems.


Jianhua Zhang- Lead GE
Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, China

Mansoor Shafi
Spark New Zealand & Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Andreas F. Molisch
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA

Fredrik Tufvesson
Lund University, Sweden

Shangbin Wu
Samsung R&D Institute, UK

Koshiro Kitao
NTT DoCoMo, Japan