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International Journal of Antennas and Propagation
Volume 2015, Article ID 878614, 6 pages
Research Article

Radio Capacity Estimation for Millimeter Wave 5G Cellular Networks Using Narrow Beamwidth Antennas at the Base Stations

1MRN Planning and Design Department, Mobily (Etihad Etisalat), P.O. Box 9979, Riyadh 11423, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Electrical Engineering, King Saud University, P.O. Box 800, Riyadh 11421, Saudi Arabia

Received 11 March 2015; Accepted 16 June 2015

Academic Editor: Atsushi Mase

Copyright © 2015 AlMuthanna Turki Nassar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents radio frequency (RF) capacity estimation for millimeter wave (mm-wave) based fifth-generation (5G) cellular networks using field-level simulations. It is shown that, by reducing antenna beamwidth from 65° to 30°, we can enhance the capacity of mm-wave cellular networks roughly by 3.0 times at a distance of 220 m from the base station (BS). This enhancement is far much higher than the corresponding enhancement of 1.2 times observed for 900 MHz and 2.6 GHz microwave networks at the same distance from the BS. Thus the use of narrow beamwidth transmitting antennas has more pronounced benefits in mm-wave networks. Deployment trials performed on an LTE TDD site operating on 2.6 GHz show that 6-sector site with 27° antenna beamwidth enhances the quality of service (QoS) roughly by 40% and more than doubles the overall BS throughput (while enhancing the per sector throughput 1.1 times on average) compared to a 3-sector site using 65° antenna beamwidth. This agrees well with our capacity simulations. Since mm-wave 5G networks will use arbitrary number of beams, with beamwidth much less than 30°, the capacity enhancement expected in 5G system when using narrow beamwidth antennas would be much more than three times observed in our simulations.