Media-Based Modulation for Future Wireless Systems: A Tutorial

Ertugrul Basar

The wireless revolution has already started with the specified vision, overall objectives, and the first official 3GPP release of 5th generation (5G) wireless networks. Despite the development of several modern communication technologies, since the beginning of the modern era of digital communications, we have been mostly conveying information by altering the amplitude, the phase, or the frequency of sinusoidal carrier signals, which has inherent drawbacks. On the other hand, index modulation (IM) provides an alternative dimension to transmit digital information: the indices of the corresponding communication systems' building blocks. Media-based modulation (MBM), which is one of the newest and the most prominent members of the IM family, performs the transmission of information by altering the far-field radiation pattern of reconfigurable antennas (RAs) and provides a completely new dimension to convey information: wireless channel fade realizations themselves through the unique signature of received signals. The aim of this article is to shed light on this promising frontier from a broad communication engineering perspective by discussing the most recent advances as well as possible interesting research directions in MBM technologies.

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