Millimetre Wave Transmission

Millimetre Wave Transmission concerns the use of the millimetre wave spectrum for radio transmission. Millimetre wave spectrum lies in the 30 GHz to 300 GHz range (with wavelengths from 10 mm to 1 mm). 

This spectrum is of interest for a number of reasons:

  • Lots of spectrum available: There is one order of magnitude of more spectrum available in this band than in lower bands
  • Larger bandwidth channels are possible, up to 2 GHz, and in the future up to and wider than 10 GHz. This allows for fibre-like capacity
  • The spectrum can be made available quickly, and can be reused easily with the limited propagation range in this band
  • Lower spectrum license costs lead to a lower total cost of ownership and lower cost per bit of radio systems using this spectrum

However there are barriers to using this spectrum. Regulations for millimetre wave radio differ greatly from country to country, ranging from no regulation to full regulation and a lack of confidence in the performance achievable.

millimetre Wave Transmission ISG

ETSI has established a millimetre Wave Transmission (mWT) Industry Specification Group (ISG) to provide a platform and opportunity for companies and organizations involved in the microwave and millimetre-wave industry chain to address the challenges involved in using this spectrum.

mWT aims to be a worldwide initiative with global reach and will address the whole industry:

  • National Regulators
  • Standards Organizations
  • Telecom Operators
  • Product vendors
  • Key component vendors

The mWT ISG aims to facilitate the use of:

  • V-band (57 to 66 GHz)
  • E-band (71 to 76 & 81 to 86 GHz) and
  • in the future higher frequency bands (up to 300 GHz)

for large volume applications in back-hauling and front-hauling to support mobile network implementation, wireless local loop and any other service benefitting from high speed wireless transmission.

mWT is intended to address the whole industry value chain with particular emphasis on:

  • current and future regulations and licensing schemes for the use of suitable spectrum in different countries
  • putting in communication the whole industry chain to share and circulate public information regarding the applications in field in order to favor faster and more effective decisions on investments needed to provide new technologies, features and equipment
  • influencing standards for the deployment of the products
  • enhancing the confidence of all stakeholders and the general public in the use of millimetre-wave technologies

High priority topics

  1. 60 GHz band regulation: the very fragmented approach in terms of spectrum allocation and licensing model (despite its unlicensed band) is preventing small cell backhaul applications in some countries
  2. Enhance the confidence in the use of millimetre-wave technologies: sharing the amount of information derived by trials and early roll-outs on E-band regarding propagation impairments and availability calculation methods can improve operators' confidence
  3. Definitions of key requirements for most important transmission applications: macro backhaul, small cell back-haul, front-haul, etc.
  4. Identification of most suitable (target) millimetre wave bands for most important transmission applications

Initial activities

The group will produce a set of white papers and reports on the technology: surveying current deployments, sharing results from trials and early roll-outs, defining suitable use-cases, identifying the most suitable millimetre wavebands, and examining the situation related to semiconductor component availability.

The mWT ISG is open to all ETSI members and non-members. For more information please contact [email protected]

Related ETSI Activities

ETSI ATTM TM4 and ETSI ERM have already developed Harmonised Standards in the mm wave range to allow Fixed Radio Link products to be placed on the market in Europe:

  • EN 302 217 multipart standard for point-to-point links: This includes fixed links up to 86 GHz.
  • EN 302 326 multipart standard for multipoint links: It covers frequencies roughly up to 35 GHz.

Other ETSI standards using this band

ETSI has developed standards for automotive radar systems in the 77 GHz and 79 GHz bands. Automatic cruise control 'long-range radar' operates at 77 GHz while anti-collision 'short-range radar' operates at 79 GHz (as well as a temporary frequency of 24 GHz). ETSI has also developed standards for WAS/RLAN systems in the 60 GHz band. 

The following is a list of the latest published ETSI specifications on millimetre wave transmissions.

A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the ETSI standards search. Via this interface you can also subscribe for alerts on updates of ETSI standards.

For work in progress see the ETSI Work Programme on the Portal.

Standard No. Standard title.
GR mWT 008 millimetre Wave Transmission (mWT); Analysis of Spectrum, License Schemes and Network Scenarios in the D-band
GR mWT 010 3D RayTracing Interference Analysis in V-Band
GR mWT 015 Frequency Bands and Carrier Aggregation Systems; Band and Carrier Aggregation
GR mWT 016 Applications and use cases of Software Defined Networking (SDN) as related to microwave and millimetre wave transmission
GS mWT 004 millimetre Wave Transmission (mWT); V-band street level interference analysis
GS mWT 006 millimetre Wave Transmission (mWT); Analysis of antennas for millimetre wave transmission
GS mWT 002 millimetre Wave Transmission (mWT); Applications and use cases of millimetre wave transmission