mmWave Cellular Network Simulator

A millimeter wave module that can be used to evaluate cross-layer and end-to-end performance of 5G mmWave networks.
4.79/5 (33 reviews)
Categories: LTE, Wireless, 5G

mmWave ns-3 module

This is an ns-3 module for the simulation of 5G cellular networks operating at mmWaves. A description of this module can be found in this paper.

Main features:

  • Support of a wide range of channel models, including the model based on 3GPP TR 38.901 for frequencies between 0.5 and 100 GHz. Ray tracing and measured traces can also be used.

  • Custom PHY and MAC classes supporting the 3GPP NR frame structure and numerologies.

  • Custom schedulers for supporting dynamic TDD formats

  • Carrier Aggregation at the MAC layer

  • Enhancements to the RLC layer with re-segmentation of packets for retransmissions

  • Dual Connectivity with LTE base stations, with fast secondary cell handover and channel tracking

  • Simulation of core network elements (with also the MME as a real node)


This repository contains a complete ns-3 installation with the addition of the mmwave module.

Use these commands to download and build ns3-mmwave: git clone cd ns3-mmwave ./waf configure --disable-python --enable-examples && ./waf build

Usage example

You can use the following command to run the mmwave-simple-epc example. ./waf --run mmwave-simple-epc Other examples are included in src/mmwave/examples/


The documentation of this module is available at this link.

Related modules

  • MilliCar is an ns-3 module for the simulation of mmWave NR V2X networks. Check this repo for further details.
  • A seperate module is being developed for mmWave UE Energy Consumption. You can use this module for analyzing Energy Consumption behaviour of mmwave UE. Check this repository for further details.
  • ns3-mmwave-iab is an extended version of ns3-mmWave adding wireless relaying capabilities to an ns-3 NetDevice, and the possibility of simulating in-band relaying at mmWave frequencies. Check this repo for further details.


The following papers describe in detail the features implemented in the mmWave module: - End-to-End Simulation of 5G mmWave Networks is a comprehensive tutorial with a detailed description of the whole module. We advise the researchers interested in this module to start reading from this paper; - Integration of Carrier Aggregation and Dual Connectivity for the ns-3 mmWave Module describes the Carrier Aggregation implementation; - Implementation of A Spatial Channel Model for ns-3 describes the integration of the spatial channel model based on the 3GPP specifications TR 38.901 V15.0.0; - Performance Comparison of Dual Connectivity and Hard Handover for LTE-5G Tight Integration describes the Dual Connectivity feature.

These other papers describe features that were implemented in older releases: - ns-3 Implementation of the 3GPP MIMO Channel Model for Frequency Spectrum above 6 GHz describes the implementation of the 3GPP channel model based on TR 38.900; - Multi-Sector and Multi-Panel Performance in 5G mmWave Cellular Networks describes the multi-sector addition to the 3GPP channel model;

If you use this module in your research, please cite:

M. Mezzavilla, M. Zhang, M. Polese, R. Ford, S. Dutta, S. Rangan, M. Zorzi, "End-to-End Simulation of 5G mmWave Networks," in IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 2237-2263, thirdquarter 2018. bibtex available here

Future work

We are actively developing new features for the mmWave module, including: - 3GPP NR beam tracking - 3GPP NR Integrated Access and Backhaul feature (see this repo for more details)


This module is being developed by NYU Wireless and the University of Padova. This work was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology through the Project “An End-to-End Research Platform for Public Safety Communications above 6 GHz” under Award 70NANB17H16.


The ns-3 mmWave module is the result of the development effort carried out by different people. The main contributors are: - Tommaso Zugno, University of Padova - Michele Polese, University of Padova - Matteo Pagin, University of Padova - Mattia Lecci, University of Padova - Matteo Drago, University of Padova - Mattia Rebato, University of Padova - Menglei Zhang, NYU Wireless - Marco Giordani, University of Padova - Marco Mezzavilla, NYU Wireless - Sourjya Dutta, NYU Wireless - Russell Ford, NYU Wireless - Gabriel Arrobo, Intel


This software is licensed under the terms of the GNU GPLv2, as like as ns-3. See the LICENSE file for more details.


Works with ns-3.33

Build History : mmWave Cellular Network Simulator v4.0

Release Notes

<p>In this release:</p> <ul> <li>We included new NR-compliant error models. The implementation has been adapted from release 1.0 of the 5G-LENA simulator, more details are available in <a href="">this paper</a>.</li> <li>We added support to an external module that can be used to analyze the energy consumption of mmWave devices. See <a href="">this repository for further details</a>.</li> <li>The code has been updated to be compliant with ns-3.33.</li> </ul>


Works with ns-3.31

Build History : mmWave Cellular Network Simulator v3.0

Release Notes

<p>In this release: </p> <ul> <li> <p>the models for MAC and PHY layers have been updated to support frame structure and PHY numerology compliant with the 3GPP NR specifications</p> </li> <li> <p>a new channel model based on 3GPP TR 38.901 has been included (see <a href="">this paper</a>)</p> </li> <li> <p>the module now supports the possibility to run simulations using channel traces obtained from an open source ray tracer (see <a href="">this paper</a> and <a href="">this example</a>)</p> </li> <li> <p>new beamforming models supporting SVD- and DFT-based schemes have been added</p> </li> <li> <p>some old channel models have been removed because no longer maintained</p> </li> <li> <p>all the examples have been updated to support the new features</p> </li> <li> <p>the other modules have been updated to ns-3.31</p> </li> </ul>


Works with ns-3.29

Build History : mmWave Cellular Network Simulator 2.0

Release Notes

<p>This release adds new features, including:</p> <ul> <li>Carrier Aggregation</li> <li>Support for multiple antenna arrays at the base stations (sectors) and at the UEs (panels).</li> </ul> <p>Moreover, the inter-RAT handover without dual connectivity is not supported anymore, thus dual connectivity is needed to handle heterogeneous LTE-mmWave networks. Moreover, the mmwave module code is now in the mmwave namespace, thus add "using mmwave;" to your existing examples. Apart from this, the code is backward compatible, therefore old scripts still work.</p>
Bakefile : Link


Works with ns-3.27

Build History : mmWave Cellular Network Simulator 1.2

Release Notes

<p>The new-handover branch is updated to ns-3.27. See for a reference of the module's functionalities</p>


Works with ns-3.26

Build History : mmWave Cellular Network Simulator v1.1

Release Notes

<p>version 1.1</p>
Bakefile : Link


Works with ns-3.26

Build History : mmWave Cellular Network Simulator v1.0

Release Notes

<p>version 1.0</p>
Bakefile : Link

The mmwave repository and downloads are a self-contained ns-3 distribution and can be used stand-alone. Please refer to [the ns-3 website]( for detailed instructions. The project [wiki]( contains additional information.

To report bugs, please open an issue in the [module GitHub repository]( or write an email to the maintainers. The lead maintainers are Michele Polese and Tommaso Zugno.

Contributions to the module are welcome. Please open a Pull Request on the [main repository]( against the new-handover branch. You can also get in touch with the module maintainers, to improve the coordination of the development and avoid duplicated efforts.

This ns-3 extension is a separately maintained fork.

Version v4.0

Released June 9, 2021

Works with ns-3.33