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A new 3D urban electromagnetic wave propagation model is presented. It provides fast 3D deterministic predictions in urban radio configurations and over large areas. The various techniques to make it suitable to the network planning and optimization of large wireless networks are described. The resulting radio propagation maps exhibit seamless coverage between the various environments (dense urban, urban, and suburban). The model efficiently addresses all types of outdoor transmitter configurations (macrocells, minicells, microcells, and picocells) and all types of receiver locations (at ground level, over the rooftop, and at high building floors). It predicts the field strength as well as the dominant specular contributions of the impulse responses to build ray spectra (including delays and angles). Thus, the model may also be used to estimate the performances of new radio systems [diversity and multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO)]. The narrowband power prediction of the model is evaluated by comparison with microcell measurements. The evaluation stresses the advantage of 3D modeling compared with the vertical-plane approach or 2D ray tracing. Finally, the ability of the model to simulate radio wideband characteristics in a complex environment is demonstrated by comparing delay-spread estimates to measurements collected from a high-macrocell transmitter in a hilly city and to arrival angles collected in a suburban macrocell area.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2009