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New Millimeter Wave Textbook Just in Time for 24+ GHz NOI

Rappaport mmW
Just as FCC opens the issue of mobile use in the millimeter (mmW) wave region with the NOI in Docket 14-177, indeed its first significant millimeter wave policy deliberation in more than a decade, my friend, Ted Rappaport, and 3 coauthors have published a text book on the technology involved. OK, it was actually published 8/30/14 and the NOI was released 10/17/14, but that is close enough!

In some ways this book is reminiscent of the pioneering 1976 publication of Robert Dixon’s Spread Spectrum Systems with Commercial Applications. At the time Dixon’s book was published there were published articles on most aspects of spread spectrum/CDMA technology, but they were scattered other a lot of different journals, often with different jargon, nomenclatures, and symbology in equations. While Dixon had few equations, he tied all the concepts together in a single approachable book. Similarly, but at a higher technical level, this book ties together its subject matter in a consistent way from a variety of sources, although in this case the authors are themselves major pioneers themselves in this technology.

The title’s, Millimeter Wave Wireless Communications, use of the term “wireless” needs a little clarification. It is used primarily in the context of its use in “CTIA-The Wireless Association” - to mean what we spectrum policy wonks call CMRS - commercial mobile radio systems. More specifically it deals with base station/mobile uplinks and downlinks in the mmW region - something that was thought inconceivable a decade ago. However, it also deals with unlicensed 60 GHz systems such as those permitted under §15.255. It does not deal with fixed services such as the 70, 80, and 90 GHz systems authorized under §101.1501+ and does not deal with other radio services such as satellite systems, except in brief parenthetical sections. But within its scope it is very thorough and unique in its comprehensive treatment of this rapidly evolving technology. I would urge the authors to expand the scope to include fixed systems in the almost certain next edition since much of the present material already applies to both mobile and fixed.

Since this is a spectrum policy blog, let us mentioned a final concern: the discussion of the evolution of US mmW regulations has some minor garbles. For example on p. 507 it states that in 1998 “USA became the first country in the world to authorize low power unlicensed 60 GHz operations”, while 2 pages later it says “In 1995, the FCC allocated the 57-64 GHz frequency band for unlicensed communications” - which is the correct date although the initial band was 59-64 GHz. Readers wanting a more detailed and accurate history, including the key 1988 study from the UK spectrum regulator suggesting unlicensed in 60 GHz, might wish to read your blogger’s history page on the subject. However, most readers of the book will not be spectrum policy wonks and will probably glance over these details.

But the people who have to draft comments in Docket 14-177 and those who will be designing mmW mobile systems needs not be concerned about these points. Within its prime subject matter of CMRS uplinks/downlinks it ties together for the first time information in disparate issues such as
  • multipath mobile mmW propagation,
  • atmospheric effects
  • antenna technology including adaptive antenna technology to overcome the multipath,
  • mmW device technology, and
  • high level design issues
If you are more interested in fixed systems, I recommend the 2000 book, now somewhat dated, Modern Millimeter-Wave Technologies by Teshirogi and Yoneyama that complements this new book in many ways. Unfortunately it is out of print but much of it is available on Google Books. (Your blogger worked for a few months with Dr. Teshrogi in Japan in another technical field in the 1990s.)
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