Coverage Analysis for Millimeter Wave Networks: The Impact of Directional Antenna Arrays

Xianghao Yu, Jun Zhang, Martin Haenggi, Khaled B. Letaief

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


Millimeter wave (mm-wave) communications is considered a promising technology for 5G networks. Exploiting beamforming gains with large-scale antenna arrays to combat the increased path loss at mm-wave bands is one of the defining features. However, previous works on mm-wave network analysis usually adopted oversimplified antenna patterns for tractability, which can lead to significant deviation from the performance with actual antenna patterns. In this paper, using tools from stochastic geometry, we carry out a comprehensive investigation on the impact of directional antenna arrays in mm-wave networks. We first present a general and tractable framework for coverage analysis with arbitrary distributions for interference power and arbitrary antenna patterns. It is then applied to mm-wave ad hoc and cellular networks, where two sophisticated antenna patterns with desirable accuracy and analytical tractability are proposed to approximate the actual antenna pattern. Compared with previous works, the proposed approximate antenna patterns help to obtain more insights on the role of directional antenna arrays in mm-wave networks. In particular, it is shown that the coverage probabilities of both types of networks increase as a non-decreasing concave function with the antenna array size. The analytical results are verified to be effective and reliable through simulations, and numerical results also show that large-scale antenna arrays are required for satisfactory coverage in mm-wave networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7913628
Pages (from-to)1498-1512
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Antenna pattern
  • coverage probability
  • directional antenna array
  • millimeter wave
  • stochastic geometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this