O2 in collaboration with pureLiFi are conducting network trials that utilise LED light spectrums to establish high speed data connections.
O2 have set up a LiFi-XC system in their experimental space at their Slough HQ. pureLiFi’s system enables the transmission of data from a LED light bulb to devices that are illuminated by the white light.
LED bulbs are semiconductor devices in which the current can be modulated to affect different intensities of light. The LiFi-XC system uses a photo-detector on devices to capture the LED light and demodulate the data encoded in it.
The way the system works is similar to how infrared communication works between devices such as a remote control and a TV, or a remote controlled car.
Due to LED lights having high intensities of light they can be used to send high speed data across the light spectrum to any device with a photo-detector. The LED lights work as normal and the modulation process is not visible to the human eye.
High Speed Light Connection
pureLiFi claim that they can achieve high speed communications up to 43Mbps from each LiFi enabled LED light.
Alistair Banham CEO of pureLiFi commented in the release: “With the proliferation of internet-of-things devices and continued growth in mobile users, the demand for spectrum is under increasing pressure.”
“LiFi is capable of unlocking unprecedented and much-needed data and bandwidth, and we are delighted that O2 has chosen to partner with pureLiFi to explore this tremendous potential.”
“O2 is at the forefront of championing technologies to provide real solutions for 5G and beyond, and we look forward to working with them towards our common goal.”
If the trials are successful and the technology can be rolled out to the wider market, it could be extremely useful in IT and healthcare sectors.
Currently electromagnetic interference is a concern in healthcare settings, as it can affect sensitive medical equipment. LiFi emits no electromagnetic interference.
Derek McManus O2’s Chief Operations Officer stated that: “At O2 we’re committed to building the best network possible for our customers, and a huge part of that is making sure we’re ahead of the pack in testing the latest technology.”
“Our LiFi trial shows how you can deliver high-speed connectivity to customers in new ways and is another example of how we’re future-proofing our network as we pave the way for 5G in the UK.”