WEBee: Physical-layer cross-technology communication via emulation

Zhijun Li, Tian He

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

186 Scopus citations


Recent advances in Cross-Technology Communication (CTC) have improved efficient coexistence and cooperation among heterogeneous wireless devices (e.g., WiFi, ZigBee, and Bluetooth) operating in the same ISM band. However, until now the effectiveness of existing CTCs, which rely on packet-level modulation, is limited due to their low throughput (e.g., tens of bps). Our work, named WEBee, opens a promising direction for high-throughput CTC via physical-level emulation. WEBee uses a high-speed wireless radio (e.g., WiFi OFDM) to emulate the desired signals of a low-speed radio (e.g., ZigBee). Our unique emulation technique manipulates only the payload of WiFi packets, requiring neither hardware nor firmware changes in commodity technologies - a feature allowing zero-cost fast deployment on existing WiFi infrastructure. We de-signedand implemented WEBee with commodity devices (Atheros AR2425 WiFi card and MicaZ CC2420) and the USRP-N210 platform (for PHY layer evaluation). Our comprehensive evaluation reveals that WEBee can achieve a more than 99% reliable parallel CTC between WiFi and ZigBee with 126 Kbps in noisy environments, a throughput about 16, 000x faster than current state-of-the-art CTCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMobiCom 2017 - Proceedings of the 23rd Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450349161
StatePublished - Oct 4 2017
Event23rd Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2017 - Snowbird, United States
Duration: Aug 16 2017Aug 20 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM
VolumePart F131210


Conference23rd Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the NSF CNS-1444021, NSF CNS-1718456 and NSF China 61672196. We sincerely thank our shepherd Shyam Gollakota and anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and feedback.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Association for Computing Machinery.


  • Cross technology communication
  • DSSS
  • Signal emulation
  • WiFi OFDM
  • ZigBee OQPSK


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