Get ready for Li-Fi in 2019

Posted Dec 22, 2018 by Tim Sandle
LEDs are now commonly used in lamps and other lighting devices. These Forms of light generation are potential data providers for new optical wireless communication technology LiFi (light fidelity).
People use their mobile phones to connect to internet through WiFi at a park in Havana
People use their mobile phones to connect to internet through WiFi at a park in Havana
Li-FI (or ‘light fidelity’) could be the next big thing in communications technology. This is on the basis of LEDs being modulated at a high frequency level, which enables the transfer data rates between 10 and 100x faster than Wi-Fi.
Li-Fi and Wi-Fi are quite similar as both transmit data electromagnetically. The key difference is that Wi-Fi uses radio waves, whilst Li-Fi runs on visible light waves.
Li-Fi technology is highly energy efficient and said to be a safe alternative to radio waves. In terms of safety, as an example, Li-Fi would remove the risk of electromagnetic interference in hospitals. With efficiency, the transmitted energy required for communication is carried by visible light, which is intrinsically used for lighting applications. LEDs would not need to be distracting either. Although Li-Fi LEDs would have to be kept on to transmit data, they could be dimmed to below human visibility while still emitting enough light to carry data.
The technology also promises improved density, according to Smart2Zero. LiFi could provide additional bandwidth capacity to communication networks. With an appropriate modulation solution, wireless capacity can be greatly increased.
The benefits of Li-Fi are set out in a new report titled: "LiFi - Technology, Industry, and Market Trends", produced by the French market research firm Yole Développement. The report considers the different components required for a complete Li-Fi ecosystem.
In related news, Wi-Fi 6 is promised for 2019. This is the next-generation wireless standard which will be considerably faster than the current 802.11ac. The service will also provide improved performance in congested areas.
In terms of recent Wi-Fi versions, we’ve had:
Wi-Fi 4 is 802.11n, released in 2009.
Wi-Fi 5 is 802.11ac, released in 2014.
Wi-Fi 6 is the new version, also known as 802.11ax, scheduled for release in 2019.
According to Kevin Robinson, vice president of marketing at the Austin-based Wi-Fi Alliance: “Wi-Fi 6 is the best you can get.”
Both the advances with Li-Fi and with the next generation of Wi-Fi promise improved communications for both businesses and consumers in the near future.