Analysis of Self-Body Blocking Effect in mmWave Cellular Networks

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Analysis of Self-Body Blocking Effects in Millimeter Wave Cellular Networks
29 Jan 2015
The millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum is a strong candidate carrier frequency for access channels in 5G cellular networks. Unfortunately, measurements show the human body heavily attenuates mmWave signals, e.g. by a factor of 20-40 dB. Consequently, users’ bodies may attenuate the direct signal, cause signal outage, and further change the base station associations. The effect of self-body blocking was not incorporated in prior performance analysis of mmWave cellular networks.
To analyze the impact of the self-body blocking effects on mmWave networks, WNCG graduate student Tianyang Bai and WNCG Professor Robert Heath have proposed a cone-blocking model, where all signals coming inside a blocking cone in the angular space are attenuated by a constant factor, and potential changes in orientation of self-body blocking are incorporated as a shift of the blocking cone. Leveraging concepts from stochastic geometry, accurate approximations of the SINR distributions with self-body blocking are presented under two user association rules: the path loss base rule and the SINR-based rule. Their results show that self-body blocking effects can reduce the cell throughput by approximately 10% over the case without body blocking. Comparison with lower frequency cellular networks where self-body blocking is not a concern show that mmWave networks still achieve higher average rates due to their large bandwidth.
Paper Available to Affiliates only. 
The research was funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1218338 and 1319556.