A general carrier frequency offset estimator for broadband OFDM

Defeng Huang, Khaled B. Letaief

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


OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) is a promising technology for future broadband wireless communications due to its capability in combating multipath fading. Carrier frequency offset (CFO), which can induce the loss of orthogonality among OFDM sub-carriers and significant performance degradation, needs to be estimated and compensated for. In this paper, we propose a general CFO estimator based on the maximum likelihood (ML) estimation criterion. It will be shown that with the same estimator architecture, CFO can be obtained using either training OFDM symbols, pilot tones, null sub-carriers, or a combination of them. Furthermore, by taking advantage of the channel side information, the performance of CFO estimation can be significantly improved. To demonstrate the capability of the proposed CFO estimator, we will consider an OFDM system using the signal structure of the IEEE WLAN standard 802.11a. Compared with previous work using null sub-carriers alone, it will be shown that by taking advantage of the pilot tones, null sub-carriers, and the channel statistics, the performance of CFO estimation can be improved by about 2dB.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2005 Asia-Pacific Conference on Communications
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005
Event2005 Asia-Pacific Conference on Communications - Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Duration: 3 Oct 20055 Oct 2005

Publication series

Name2005 Asia-Pacific Conference on Communications


Other2005 Asia-Pacific Conference on Communications
CityPerth, Western Australia



  • Carrier frequency offset
  • IEEE 802.11a
  • Null sub-carrier
  • OFDM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Huang, D., & Letaief, K. B. (2005). A general carrier frequency offset estimator for broadband OFDM. In 2005 Asia-Pacific Conference on Communications (pp. 1083-1087). [1554231] (2005 Asia-Pacific Conference on Communications; Vol. 2005). https://doi.org/10.1109/APCC.2005.1554231