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ns-3 module for simulating mmWave-based cellular systems. See (open access) as a reference.

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mmWave ns-3 module

This is an ns-3 mmWave module for the simulation of 5G mmWave cellular networks. A description of this module can be found on IEEExplore (open access).

The mmWave module for ns-3 can be used to simulate 5G cellular networks at mmWave frequencies. This module builds on top of the LTE one, and currently includes features such as:

  • 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. They support dynamic TDD, and are parameterized and highly customizable in order to be flexible enough for testing different designs.

  • Custom schedulers for the dynamic TDD format

  • 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)

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 authors of the mmWave module are listed in this file.


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

The Network Simulator, Version 3

Table of Contents:

1) An overview 2) Building ns-3 3) Running ns-3 4) Getting access to the ns-3 documentation 5) Working with the development version of ns-3

Note: Much more substantial information about ns-3 can be found at

1) An Open Source project

ns-3 is a free open source project aiming to build a discrete-event network simulator targeted for simulation research and education.
This is a collaborative project; we hope that the missing pieces of the models we have not yet implemented will be contributed by the community in an open collaboration process.

The process of contributing to the ns-3 project varies with the people involved, the amount of time they can invest and the type of model they want to work on, but the current process that the project tries to follow is described here:

This README excerpts some details from a more extensive tutorial that is maintained at:

2) Building ns-3

The code for the framework and the default models provided by ns-3 is built as a set of libraries. User simulations are expected to be written as simple programs that make use of these ns-3 libraries.

To build the set of default libraries and the example programs included in this package, you need to use the tool 'waf'. Detailed information on how use waf is included in the file doc/build.txt

However, the real quick and dirty way to get started is to type the command ./waf configure --enable-examples followed by ./waf (If errors occurred during the build process, type the following command CXXFLAGS="-Wall" ./waf configure --enable-examples followed by ./waf) in the the directory which contains this README file. The files built will be copied in the build/ directory.

The current codebase is expected to build and run on the set of platforms listed in the RELEASE_NOTES file.

Other platforms may or may not work: we welcome patches to improve the portability of the code to these other platforms.

3) Running ns-3

On recent Linux systems, once you have built ns-3 (with examples enabled), it should be easy to run the sample programs with the following command, such as:

./waf --run simple-global-routing

That program should generate a text trace file and a set of simple-global-routing-xx-xx.pcap binary pcap trace files, which can be read by tcpdump -tt -r filename.pcap The program source can be found in the examples/routing directory.

4) Getting access to the ns-3 documentation

Once you have verified that your build of ns-3 works by running the simple-point-to-point example as outlined in 4) above, it is quite likely that you will want to get started on reading some ns-3 documentation.

All of that documentation should always be available from the ns-3 website: http:://

This documentation includes:

  • a tutorial

  • a reference manual

  • models in the ns-3 model library

  • a wiki for user-contributed tips:

  • API documentation generated using doxygen: this is a reference manual, most likely not very well suited as introductory text:

5) Working with the development version of ns-3

If you want to download and use the development version of ns-3, you need to use the tool 'mercurial'. A quick and dirty cheat sheet is included in doc/mercurial.txt but reading through the mercurial tutorials included on the mercurial website is usually a good idea if you are not familiar with it.

If you have successfully installed mercurial, you can get a copy of the development version with the following command: "hg clone"

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