From the preceding discussion and keeping in mind the stated vision for next generation wireless technology of fully integrated, reliable, multimedia services with full mobility and minimum latency, the following key research activities in the channel characterization and propagation model development may be suggested:

While emphasis in this chapter was placed on channel characterization and propagation models, it is important to point out that multidisciplinary efforts that incorporate knowledge of the channel characteristics to develop and implement novel signal processing methods, communication algorithms, and networking protocols represent a most effective strategy in advancing wireless communications systems. Every effort should be made to participate in these integrative and multidisciplinary approaches rather than focusing on isolated and individual efforts in channel characterization and modeling.

In addition to the need for integrative efforts, there is no question that research efforts must focus on the development of a physics-based channel model that effectively takes advantage of the identified dominant effects in a given propagation environment and frequency band while maintaining good accuracy. A broad range of applicability and acceptable computational efficiency will provide next generation wireless communications systems with a significant tool and a most valuable enabling technology. Understanding the physical nature of the wireless communication channel and incorporating this developed fundamental understanding across the communications layers is crucial for realizing the much anticipated benefits from the wireless information technology and networks.

Published: July 2000; WTEC Hyper-Librarian