Assessing System-Level Energy Efficiency of mmWave-Based Wearable Networks
The emerging fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology will need to harness the massively unused millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum to meet the projected acceleration in mobile traffic demand. Today, the available range of mmWave-based solutions is already represented by IEEE 802.11ad (WiGig), IEEE 802.15.3c, WirelessHD, and ECMA-387 standards, with more to come in the following years. As the key performance-related aspects of these enabling technologies are rapidly taking shape, the primary research challenge shifts to characterizing network energy efficiency, among other system-level parameters. This is particularly important in scenarios that are not handled by current 4G communication networks, including congested public places, homes, and offices. In these dense deployments, wireless wearable devices are increasingly proliferating to assist in diverse user needs. However, mmWave operation in crowded environments, and especially for multiple neighboring personal networks, is not nearly well-understood. Bridging this gap, we conduct a full-fledged energy efficiency assessment of mmWave-based “high-end” wearables that employ advanced antenna beamforming techniques. Our rigorous analytical results shed light on the underlying scaling laws for the interacting mmWave-based networks based on IEEE 802.11ad and quantify the impact of beamforming quality on system energy efficiency under various conditions. Furthermore, we look at the system optimization potential subject to realistic hardware capabilities.