The Impact of Beamwidth on Temporal Channel Variation in Vehicular Channels and Its Implications


Vutha Va, J. Choi, Robert W. Heath, Jr.


IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, vol. 66, no. 6, pp. 5014-5029, Jun. 2017.


Millimeter wave (mmWave) has great potential in realizing high data rates, thanks to the large spectral channels. It is considered as a key technology for fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks and is already used in wireless LAN (e.g., IEEE 802.11ad). Using mmWave for vehicular communications, however, is often viewed with some skepticism due to a misconception that the Doppler spread would become too large at these high frequencies. This is not necessarily true when directional beams are employed. In this paper, closed-form expressions relating the channel coherence time and beamwidth are derived. Unlike prior work that assumed perfect beam pointing, the pointing error due to the receiver motion is incorporated to show that there exists a nonzero optimal beamwidth that maximizes the coherence time. We define a novel concept of beam coherence time, which is an effective measure of beam alignment frequency. Using the derived correlation function, the channel coherence time, and the beam coherence time, an overall performance metric considering both the channel time variation and the beam alignment overhead is derived. Using this metric, it is shown that beam realignment in every beam coherence time performs better than beam realignment in every channel coherence time.