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Data-Driven Analysis of Outdoor-to-Indoor Propagation for 5G Mid-Band Operational Networks

  • Ali, Usman
  • Caso, Giuseppe
  • De Nardis, Luca
  • Kousias, Konstantinos
  • Rajiullah, Mohammad
  • Alay, Özgü
  • Neri, Marco
  • Brunström, Anna
  • Di Benedetto, Maria-Gabriella
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
DOI: 10.3390/fi14080239
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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The successful rollout of fifth-generation (5G) networks requires a full understanding of the behavior of the propagation channel, taking into account the signal formats and the frequencies standardized by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). In the past, channel characterization for 5G has been addressed mainly based on the measurements performed on dedicated links in experimental setups. This paper presents a state-of-the-art contribution to the characterization of the outdoor-to-indoor radio channel in the 3.5 GHz band, based on experimental data for commercial, deployed 5G networks, collected during a large scale measurement campaign carried out in the city of Rome, Italy. The analysis presented in this work focuses on downlink, outdoor-to-indoor propagation for two operators adopting two different beamforming strategies, single wide-beam and multiple synchronization signal blocks (SSB) based beamforming; it is indeed the first contribution studying the impact of beamforming strategy in real 5G networks. The time and power-related channel characteristics, i.e., mean excess delay and Root Mean Square (RMS) delay spread, path loss, and K-factor are studied for the two operators in multiple measurement locations. The analysis of time and power-related parameters is supported and extended by a correlation analysis between each pair of parameters. The results show that beamforming strategy has a marked impact on propagation. A single wide-beam transmission leads, in fact, to lower RMS delay spread and lower mean excess delay compared to a multiple SSB-based transmission strategy. In addition, the single wide-beam transmission system is characterized by a smaller path loss and a higher K-factor, suggesting that the adoption of a multiple SSB-based transmission strategy may have a negative impact on downlink performance.

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