Outdoor-to-Indoor 28 GHz Wireless Measurements in Manhattan: Path Loss, Environmental Effects, and 90% Coverage

Outdoor-to-indoor (OtI) signal propagation further challenges the already tight link budgets at millimeter-wave (mmWave). To gain insight into OtI mmWave scenarios at 28 GHz, we conducted an extensive measurement campaign consisting of over 2,200 link measurements. In total, 43 OtI scenarios were measured in West Harlem, New York City, covering seven highly diverse buildings. The measured OtI path gain can vary by up to 40 dB for a given link distance, and the empirical path gain model for all data shows an average of 30 dB excess loss over free space at distances beyond 50 m, with an RMS fitting error of 11.7 dB. The type of glass is found to be the single dominant feature for OtI loss, with 20 dB observed difference between empirical path gain models for scenarios with low-loss and high-loss glass. The presence of scaffolding, tree foliage, or elevated subway tracks, as well as difference in floor height are each found to have an impact between 5-10 dB. We show that for urban buildings with high-loss glass, OtI coverage can support 500 Mbps for 90% of indoor user equipment (UEs) with a base station (BS) antenna placed up to 49 m away. For buildings with low-loss glass, such as our case study covering multiple classrooms of a public school, data rates over 2.5/1.2 Gbps are possible from a BS 68/175 m away from the school building, when a line-of-sight path is available. We expect these results to be useful for the deployment of mmWave networks in dense urban environments as well as the development of relevant scheduling and beam management algorithms.

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