Ultra-low-power wide range backscatter communication using cellular generated carrier

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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With the popularization of Internet-of-things (IoT) and wireless communication systems, a diverse set of applications in smart cities are emerging to improve the city-life. These applications usually require a large coverage area and minimal operation and maintenance cost. To this end, the recently emerging backscatter communication (BC) is gaining interest in both industry and academia as a new communication paradigm that provides high energy efficient communications that may even work in a battery-less mode and, thus, it is well suited for smart city applications. However, the coverage of BC in urban area deployments is not available, and the feasibility of its utilization for smart city applications is not known. In this article, we present a comprehensive coverage study of a practical cellular carrier-based BC system for indoor and outdoor scenarios in a downtown area of a Helsinki city. In particular, we evaluate the coverage outage performance of different low-power and wide area technologies, i.e., long range (LoRa) backscatter, arrow band-Internet of Things (NB-IoT), and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) based BC at different frequencies of operation. To do so, we carry out a comprehensive campaign of simulations while using a sophisticated three-dimensional (3D) ray tracing (RT) tool, ITU outdoor model, and 3rd generation partnership project (3GPP) indoor hotspot model. This study also covers the energy harvesting aspects of backscatter device, and it highlights the importance of future backscatter devices with high energy harvesting efficiency. The simulation results and discussion provided in this article will be helpful in understanding the coverage aspects of practical backscatter communication system in a smart city environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2663
Number of pages25
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • 3GPP
  • Backscatter communication
  • BLE
  • IoT
  • LoRa backscatter
  • Low power wide area network
  • Macrocellular
  • NB-IoT
  • Ray tracing
  • Simulations
  • Smart city


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