A Flexible mmWave Layer 2 Protocol Implementation for Integrated Access and Backhaul Architecture

Randy Verdecia-Pena, Rodolfo Oliveira, Jose I. Alonso

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1 Citation (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, we present a 3GPP-inspired hardware implementation for the out-of-band Integrated Access and Backhaul (IAB) network, which serves as a solution to both coverage extension and capacity boosting in 5G and beyond networks. By employing an Ettus x310 software-defined radio (SDR) board, Pasternack's 60 GHz Transmitter (Tx) waveguide module, and MatlabTM software, we design and develop an easy-to-use out-of-band mmWave Layer 2 protocol. The proposed protocol decodes a frequency range 1 (FR1) 5G signal as input at 3.5 GHz, which is retransmitted to the UE as a frequency range 2 (FR2) 5G signal at 60 GHz. In the implementation of the Layer 2 protocol, the least squares (LS) estimator is adopted by considering the demodulation reference signal (DM-RS) and the channel state information reference signal (CSI-RS) as pilot symbols in real-world environments. To alleviate the performance degradation in the mmWave access link, a phase noise cancellation (PNC) algorithm based on the phase tracking reference signal (PT-RS) is implemented at the UE node where a PT-RS block structure is introduced in the mmWave Layer 2 protocol transmitter stage. We review and evaluate the key performance indicators (KPIs) of the proposed Layer 2 protocol in real non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments and a comparison between the gNode-to-UE link is carried out. Our results indicate that the performance of the proposed Layer 2 protocol is similar to the obtained with the off-the-shelf equipment demonstrating the right functionality of the developed algorithms. Experimental results evidence the superiority of the proposed Layer 2 protocol over the gNodeB-to-UE link (direct link communication) and the best performance is obtained when the PNC algorithm is considered in the IAB architecture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52949-52968
Number of pages20
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • 60 GHz wireless testbench
  • IAB architecture
  • Layer 2 protocol
  • measurements
  • performance evaluation
  • phase noise cancellation


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