Penetration Losses In 5G millimeter wave Technology

Jamil Mahama
2 min readOct 24, 2021

High frequency or millimeter wave 5G promises to revolutionize Industry 4.0 where The Internet of Things, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Autonomous or Self-driving cars become part of our daily lives.

Millimeter wave spectrum typically falls in the range of 30 GHz to 300 GHz. This term is self explanatory for engineers, physicists and scientists. It simply describes the shortness of radio wavelength, which is only a few millimeters or less. The main attraction of millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum is it’s large bandwidth, making it possible for gigabit mobile and wireless services.

an image showing 5G mmWave on the electromagnetic spectrum

When a millimeter wave signal encounters reflective surfaces such as walls, glass or elevators, these materials tend to exhibit high reflection coeeficients and further disrupt the signals line of sight for the receiving device. Trees or even rain can contribute to the loss of network coverage.

5G mmWave network coverage loss

The presence of humans has a significant impact on the propagation characteristics of mmWave signals as humans tend to act as obstacles, reflectors and scatters. When an mmWave signal enters the human body, due to the dielectric composition of the body(the skin), there is minimal penetration but significant reflection and scattering, leading to high losses.



Jamil Mahama

Founder of Legora Technologies and Creator of Cellubyte App which is currently in beta. 4 years experience in Android, Mapbox Geolocation, Augmented Reality