5G NR (new radio), the 5th generation cellular networks, is being designed to provide extreme data rates and capacity to address the demand of increasing wireless data traffic. Large quantities of new spectrum have been allocated to 5G, from low bands sub-6 GHz to high bands known as millimeter wave (mmWave). The mmWave frequencies offer huge bandwidths to support the extreme data rates. However, mmWave has high path loss and is susceptible to the operation environment.
To address these challenges, the base stations will use highly directional antennas to provide directional links between the base station and users. Such directional links can save energy, lower transmitting power, enhance security, and reduce interferences. However, the use of directional antennas without additional processing, introduces a new challenge: the deafness problems. The deafness problem occurs when a directional node is communicating with one mobile user and the communication requests by other users outside the beam will not be ‘heard’ by the node. In other words, the base station is not aware of any user outside its communicating beam. To address the deafness problem and reap the benefits of directional antennas, several prior researches have been focused on the design of directional MAC layers. Others have developed point-to-point node networks with changes only to the physical layer, but did not take into account a point-to-multipoint base station architecture.
In this presentation, advanced directional networking technology is proposed for 5G systems. It supports full directional capability without requiring changes in the upper OSI layers. In the proposed approach, each node, referred to as an advanced node, has three types of antenna arrays: the timed scanning array for mobile user discovery, the dynamically beamformed array for communication with discovered mobile users, and the antenna array for node-node and node-core network connectivity.
The scanning and communication arrays are divided into six sectors. In each sector, the scanning array is continuously scanning for new users. The communication array adaptively adjusts its radiation pattern based on the locations of the existing and new discovered users. Signal processing and beamforming algorithms are developed to enable full directional link between advanced nodes and mobile users. As a proof of concept, simulations of the proposed advanced directional networking technology on WIFI and LTE standards are performed and conformed to the timing requirements of Medium Access Control (MAC) layers of existing WIFI and LTE standards. New simulation results for implementation of the proposed Advanced Node concept in 5 G standards will be presented. Potential FPGA implementation and integration of propagation modeling capabilities of the proposed system will also be discussed.