Challenges and solutions for networking in the millimeter-wave band
One of the most promising options to significantly increase data rates in future wireless networks is to vastly increase the communication bandwidth. Such very high bandwidth channels are only available in the extremely high frequency part of the radio spectrum, the millimeter wave band (mm-wave). Upcoming communication technologies, for example IEEE 802.11ad, are already starting to exploit this part of the radio spectrum to achieve data rates of several GBit/s. mm-wave communication is also discussed as key technology for 5G mobile networks. However, communication at such high frequencies also suffers from high attenuation and signal absorption, often restricting communication to line-of-sight scenarios and requiring the use of highly directional antennas. This in turn requires a radical rethinking of wireless network design. On the one hand side, such channels experience little interference, allowing for a high degree of spatial reuse and potentially simpler MAC and interference management mechanisms. On the other hand, such an environment is extremely dynamic and channels may appear and disappear over very short time intervals, in particular for mobile devices. It is essential to take these characteristics into account to design efficient wireless architectures. The talk will highlight main challenges and possible solutions for networking in the mm-wave band.