Measurement-Based 5G Millimeter-Wave Propagation Characterization in Vegetated Suburban Macrocell Environments

An empirically based analysis of propagation characteristics in two vegetated suburban areas with different types and fractions of vegetation cover in 5G millimeter-wave bands is presented. A basic distance-dependent path loss model with a Gaussian random variance for shadow fading is utilized in accordance with the maximum-power directional and omnidirectional measurement data, therein exploiting significant path loss exponents in the presence of vegetation. In comparison with the existing ITU-R and 3GPP models, the effect of dense-leaved trees on path loss prediction is similar to that of buildings, whereas these standard models are inapplicable for sparse obstacle-line-of-sight (OLoS) links. Consequently, an azimuth-angle-based path loss characterization is proposed considering the antenna pattern, beam misalignment, and blockage effects. Moreover, several composite and cluster-level small-scale channel parameters, such as the number of clusters, delay spread, and angular spread, are extracted. Analysis of the first-arrival cluster in the OLoS setting reveals that forward scattering through foliage is still dominant and is expected to produce a larger azimuth angular spread of the arrival and compact multipath components in the time domain compared with line-of-sight and reflected clusters. Measurement results improve existing 3GPP channel models for suburban macrocell scenarios in millimeter-wave bands.