Backscatter Communications over Ambient OFDM Signals using Null Subcarriers

Mohammed ElMossalmy, Zhu Han, Miao Pan, Riku Jäntti, Karim Seddik, Geoffrey Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
116 Downloads (Pure)


In recent years, ambient backscatter communications have gained a lot of interest as a promising enabling technology for Internet-of-Things and green communications. In ambient backscatter communication systems, battery-less devices are able to transmit information by backscattering ambient RF signals generated by legacy communication systems such as digital TV broadcasting, Wi-Fi, or cellular. This paper is concerned with ambient backscatter communications over legacy cellular OFDM signals. We propose a novel modulation scheme that allows backscattering devices to take advantage of the spectrum structure of ambient OFDM symbols to transmit information. We analyze the error performance of the proposed scheme, provide an exact expression for the error probability, and validate our analysis using Monte-Carlo simulation. We investigate the effects of varying the OFDM symbol size and maximum channel delay spread on the error performance. Our numerical results show that the proposed technique outperforms other techniques available in the literature for backscatter communication over ambient OFDM signals in different scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE Global Communications Conference
Place of PublicationUnited States
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-4727-1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIEEE Global Communications Conference - UAE, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 9 Dec 201813 Dec 2018

Publication series

NameIEEE Global Communications Conference
ISSN (Print)2334-0983
ISSN (Electronic)2576-6813


ConferenceIEEE Global Communications Conference
Abbreviated titleGLOBECOM
CountryUnited Arab Emirates
CityAbu Dhabi
Internet address


  • Ambient backscatter
  • Internet of things
  • green communications
  • performance analysis
  • OFDM

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