Survey of Available Experimental Data of Radio Wave Propagation for Wireless Transmission

Tapan Kumar Sarkar, Mohammad Najib Abdallah, Magdalena Salazar Palma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper provides a survey of the various experimental data available on the value of the propagation path loss of radio waves in a cellular wireless environment. It is shown starting with the Okumura et al.’s paper [1] on propagation measurements and other available published experimental data, that they all exhibit that the electric field varies as ρ–1.5 within a cellular radius of a few kilometers, where ρ is the radial distance of the receiving antenna from the transmitting one. This decay in the fields is equivalent to a propagation loss of –9 dB/octave or –30 dB for a decade of the distance. This value is independent of the nature of the ground, whether it be composed of rural, urban, suburban or water. This is the first time it is stated that the propagation path loss due to the presence of ground generates a path loss of 90 dB when the signals travel a distance of 1 km. This value is rather large when compared to a loss of 30-50 dB produced by buildings, trees and similar artifacts. Therefore, the experimental data indicate that the effect of trees, buildings and so on have a secondary influence on the decay of the electric field with distance, the dominant one is the propagation loss over an imperfect ground. Contemporary propagation models do not acknowledge this fact. Outside the cellular radius of a few kilometers the path loss appears to be 12 dB/octave or 40 dB/decade of distance. In a companion paper it will be demonstrated that the values for the path loss can be explained from an analytical standpoint without taking recourse to statistics which involves a lot of assumptions on the functional variation of the variables of interest [2].

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Antenna measurements
  • Base stations
  • Cellular Radio Wave Propagation
  • Experimental data for Radio Waves
  • Loss measurement
  • Path Loss Exponent
  • Propagation losses
  • Receiving antennas
  • Transmitting antennas
  • Urban areas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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